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Purple Coneflower

Purple Coneflower

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Description:
Coneflower - Echinacea Hardy Planting Zones- 3-9 Sun or Shade – Sun, Light Shade Mature Height - Up to 8' Mature Width- 1-2' Bloom Season – Summer Gardener Status- Beginner (Easy Care, Low Maintenance)
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Purple Coneflower - Echinacea Purpurea

The purple coneflower is a winner in any garden. Tall (up to 4'), stately stemmed, and hardy, this member of the daisy flower family is a show stopper. The Greek name Echinacea means "Hedgehog" referring to the prickly red-orange and yellow center that is haloed with purple petals. This lovely flower calls eastern and central USA home, liking dry or moist areas including the plains and open wooded areas. It thrives in poorer type soils for flowering. Once it is established, this perennial will stand strong year after year, making it a must in any wildflower or herb garden. It blooms from early summer till fall.

They are called Coneheads due to the petals drooping downward and the prickly center forming a spiky head. These flowers have a long life, so placing them in the center of a round garden or in the back of a garden plot that is backed up to a wall or structure is advised, due to the height. These flowers dry well, and done properly, will keep their color for a long time. What a lovely addition to any dried flower arrangement that can be enjoyed year round.

Native Americans used the Purple Coneflower for medicinal purposes, including to soothe a sore throat, headache, and pain from the Eastern Woodlands as far out as the Dakotas. Tinctures and teas are common ways of using the plant as a medicinal.

Seeds can be collected by placing the spiked head in a bag, tilting the flower head to the side, and letting the seeds fall into the bag. You will have to be ready, as the birds love them and may beat you to them. In warmer tropical climates, you may want to chill the seeds in moist soil for a few weeks before planting them. Divide plants in the fall after they have been established in 3-4 years. This will allow for a hardy root system.

 

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The Coneflower is known to be a very tall wildflower and also a powerful one. They are also perennials, which mean they come back each year. They come in several different colors with purple being the most popular. These beautiful flowers will bloom in the summer with daisy-like petals that bend down exposing the center of the flower. In some cases, if the weather stays very warm, they have been known to bloom well into fall.  They will do well in most any soil type as long as it is moist with good drainage.