Soil: Mesic (Medium). Drought tolerant.
Sun: Full Sun – Part Sun
Height: 3-4 feet
Bloom Color: Purple
Bloom Season: June – August
Suggested Uses: This is probably the best-known Echinacea/Purple Coneflower. It has been widely used in garden settings and there are many cultivars that have been derived from this native plant. These beautiful, robust looking coneflowers have dark green foliage and showy purple flowers. They are very attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies, and make excellent fresh and dried cut flowers as well!
Native Range: Native to scattered areas throughout the Midwest, South and Northeast. Not native to the state of Minnesota but grows very well here and overwinters through harsh winters just fine. Very durable! E. purpurea was used in many early prairie restoration projects in Minnesota in the 1980s and can be found in some reconstructed prairies throughout the state. Echinacea angustifolia is the purple coneflower that is native to the prairies of Minnesota.
Pollinators: It is attractive to bees, hummingbirds, butterflies and birds. Favored by the federally endangered Rusty Patched Bumble Bee (Bombus affinis). Attracts goldfinches. Toxic to mosquitos and houseflies.
Flowers: Flowers are composite and 3-5″ in diameter. Central disk flowers create a sharp, bristly cone in the middle surrounded by 14-20 light purple ray flowers. These flowers ripen and dry into a very spiky seed head. Seeds are ready to collect when the stem beneath the flower dries and turns brown.
Leaves: The rough, coarsely toothed leaves are up to 8″ long and lance-shaped.
Medicinal Uses: Today, Echinacea is used in many over-the-counter immune system boosters. It is believed to ward off colds and the flu. Recent studies show that Echinacea may have anti-inflammatory properties. In traditional and contemporary Lakota medicine ičháȟpe hú is prepared in a variety of ways to treat a wide variety ailments. Read more from Linda Black Elk and Wilbur Flying By Sr. here. It was also used to combat mumps and smallpox epidemics brought by Europeans beginning in the 16th century.
Name: Echinacea is from the Greek word for hedgehog. It refers to the spiny center of the flower.
More information: USDA plant profile