Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) is a coarse, rough-hairy, herbaceous perennial that is native to moist prairies, meadows and open woods of the central to southeastern United States (Ohio to Michigan to Iowa south to Louisiana and Georgia). It has a fibrous root system with short woody rhizomes and is a drought-tolerant perennial that is also deer resistant. The flowers are a golden red to purple and may release a slight fragrance in strong sunlight. They are much-loved by bees and is a host plant for the Ottoe Skipper.  Blooms appear June-September and some Purple Coneflowers may re-bloom in the fall. Echinacea purpurea matures to 4′ in height. Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Best in full sun. An adaptable plant that is tolerant of drought, heat, humidity and poor soil. Divide clumps when they become overcrowded (about every 4 years). Plants usually rebloom without deadheading, however prompt removal of spent flowers improves general appearance. Freely self-seeds if at least some of the seed heads are left in place.

Purple coneflower typically grows to 2-4′ tall. Showy, daisy-like purple coneflowers (to 5″ diameter) bloom throughout summer atop stiff stems clad with coarse, ovate to broad-lanceolate, dark green leaves. Good fresh cut or dried flower. The dead flower stems will remain erect well into the winter, and if flower heads are not removed, the blackened cones may be visited by goldfinches or other birds that feed on the seeds. Plains Indians used the root to treat rattlesnake bites, bee stings, headaches, toothaches, sore throats, and distemper in horses. Coneflowers are still widely used today in pharmaceutical preparations. Common names are Narrow-leaved Purple Coneflower, Sampson Root, Red Sunflower, and simply, Echinacea.
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