A popular perennial with smooth, 2-5 ft. stems and long-lasting, lavender flowers. The numerous inner disc flowers bloom from the outside in, are 5-lobed, and have a pointy bract.
Fruits are small, dark, 4-angled achenes, each with a single seed.
The hairy stems of this perennial grow to 90 cm tall. Its 10-17 alternate leaves occur in the lower half of the stem, are lance-shaped, and covered with stiff hairs.
Purple coneflower grows best in fields, prairies, or dry open woods.
The attractive flowers of this prairie plant provide nectar and pollen to bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
Their fruits, seeds, and vegetative parts are also eaten by animals. Purple Coneflower has been used by Indigenous peoples for food, medicinal, and other purposes. It is still used today for immune support.
****If you are investigating through a pollinator garden and observe bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, be sure to use your scientific skills and see if you can identify any Purple Coneflowers nearby.
Growth is best in fertile loam, but it will tolerate clay or dryer conditions. It is somewhat drought resistant, but the entire plant may wilt if the soil becomes too dry in strong sunlight. Uncommon in the wild, it is readily available commercially, and the seed is often used in land restoration. Echinacea species were used by Native Americans for medicinal purposes and are still used today in herbal medicine and tea.