Echinacea
(Purple Coneflower)

Name                     Purple Coneflower

Botanical Name   Echinacea purpurea

Family                    Compositae / Asteraceae

Native to                Central and Eastern North America, where they                                      grew in open prairies and open woodlands

 

Water                     Dry to medium

Sun                        Full sun; part shade

Soil                         Humus rich; well-drained

 

Height                   2-5 feet

Width                     18-24"

Space                     18"

Echinacea-Purple-1_medium.jpg

Price

4" pots:  $2.20

6" pots:  $3.50

1 gallon Root Pouch:  5.00

Description

Echinacea is a tall perennial that is native to the prairies, meadows and open woodlands of the central and southeastern United States.  The purple flowers arise from tall, stiff stems and have raised conical, prickly, brown centers surrounded by drooping petals.  Besides attracting beneficial insects, butterflies, and birds, the Purple Coneflower has long been cherished for its medicinal properties.    

Even though Echinacea does not always flower its first year, it is better to plant it young, due to its temperamental taproot. 

Will Tolerate &

Keeping in Going

  • Best grown in average soil with dry to medium conditions

  • Plant these in full sun to part shade (adjust moisture accordingly)

  • Tolerant of drought, heat, humidity and poor soil

  • Plants will re-bloom without deadheading, but removing spent blooms improves the general appearance.

  • Old flower heads will attract birds that eat the seeds

  • "Echinacea is a low-water plant; however, you’ll need to water young plants to help them establish new roots. That is usually a sequence of every day or every other day right after planting, moving to a couple of times per week, to once per week, to every other week, to watering only when your area is experiencing extreme drought. The second year after planting and beyond you should not have to water Echinacea at all unless you’ve gone eight weeks or more without rain. They are that drought-tolerant."  (Information was taken from American Meadows:  How to Grow Echinacea (americanmeadows.com)

  • Mulch to retain moisture and prevent weeds   

Won't Tolerate

  • Overly moist conditions can produce stem rot and powdery mildew.  Both of these issues can be prevented by ensuring that they are not overwatered, the soil is well-drained and the plant has adequate airflow.

  • Coneflowers don't like their taproots being disturbed.  Be attentive when removing them from their nursery containers.

History

&

Points of Interest

  • Echinacea comes from the Greek word for, "hedgehog", which references the prickly brown center of the flower; Purpurea means purple.

  • Echinacea looks best in mass plantings.  It can be used in cottage or wildflower style gardens.  Partner this plant with Black-eyed Susans, Gaillardia (Blanket Flower), salvia, and Asclepias (Milkweed).

  • Don't deadhead all the seed heads after the flowers have faded.  They are an important food source for many birds. 

  • The flowers attract butterflies and other beneficial insects.  

  • Uses:  Medicinal.  Native Americans used Echinacea as a "wound-herb", to treat snake bites, and as a general cure all.  Later, the early settlers adopted this tradition and used it for coughs, colds, and a variety of ailments.  Research has established this plant to have a beneficial effect on the immune system by stimulating white blood cells.

  • Parts used:  The roots and rhizomes are used dried or powdered.  It is often made into a tea.

 

Caution:  Always consult a physician before taking any home remedies.