Echinacea purpurea, Purple Coneflower
Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic
Purple Coneflower has a rich history of medicinal use that has resulted in its over harvesting and decline in its natural habitat, centered in Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas. The few established populations in Virginia and Pennsylvania appear to be escapes from cultivation. So many beneficial insects (and goldfinches) flock to it though, one thinks of Echinacea as native. In any case, its attributes make it a “must-have” for a sunny garden.
Print Version: Echinacea purpurea, Purple Coneflower
Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets
Tags: Melilotus officinalis – Sweetclover, Lythrum salicaria – Purple Loosestrife, Aster species (including Michaelmas Daisy), Hardiness: USDA Zones 3-8, Use in borders; butterfly, cutting or meadow gardens, Divide clumps when crowded, every four years, Deadhead to control seeds; not needed for re-bloom, Soil Requirements: Slightly acid, well-drained, Light Requirements: Sun, Partial Shade, Attracts butterflies, other beneficial insects, goldfinches; may be larval host to Silvery Checkerspot, Ethnobotanic, therapeutic and herbal uses, Blooms last well as cut flowers, Tolerates poor soil, heat, humidity; intolerant of water logging; susceptible to leaf spot (when watering do not get moisture on leaves/stems); deer seldom to occasionally severely damage, Cone produces seeds, matures to brown/black, Prickly, deep orange disk or “cone” encircled by mauve rays that droop with age; blooms for one month early summer, then may rebloom early fall, Tallish perennial with coarse dark green foliage, Bloom Color: Mauve, lavender