Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)


USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York. Vol. 3: 475

Where Commonly Found: fields and forest edges, MA, NY, VT
How to Identify:
(For unfamiliar words: Wikipedia Glossary of Botanical Terms).
Go Botany Key to Echinacea purpurea
Missouri Botanical Garden description of Echinacea purpurea.  Click on more images.

Flower Color:  Pink-purple.
Flower Type:  Radial.  Flower heads are large, 2-1/2″ – 4″ wide, with more than 50 disk flowers, orange/brown in the “cone” center and wide drooping, pink-purple, ray flowers (often strap-like) on periphery.
Flower Time:  Mid-June to mid-August.
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate (sometimes some opposite) leaves.  
Stem 2′-5′, light green with small purple streaks and scattered white hairs, stem swells just under flower.
Leaf Type:  
Simple leaves.  Lower leaves, egg shaped, long stalked, coarsely toothed (though occasionally entire), up to 6″ long and 3″ across, becoming smaller as they ascend the stems, long tapering acute apex except upper leaves, dark green with sparse hairs, narrow, ovate, scabrous (rough to touch).  (Note:  Echinacea pallida is similar, but lower leaves are narrower (up to 8″ long and 1-1/2″ wide) and usually entire.)
Height:  2 ‘- 5’
Seed Collection:  Collect mature seed heads in fall, break open extract seeds.

Attracts:  Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds, Birds
Use:  Garden, Monarch Garden
Light:  Full Sun to Part Sun
Hardiness Zone:  3 to 8  USDA Zone Map
Soils:  Dry to Moist
Notes:  Purple Coneflower is well-known and loved, with a long-blooming season, a bit short-lived, but so nice, worth replanting every so many years.
Introduced and naturalized in VT, NY MA, CT, native to much of Mid-West and Southern US, though rare in many states:   Biota of North America Program (BONAP) – North American Plant Atlas (NAPA).

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