Home & Lifestyle >
Coneflower - Echinacea
Echinacea is a genus consisting of nine species of flowering
plants in the Family Asteraceae, all native to eastern North
America, and often known as the purple coneflower.
The genus name is from the Greek echino, meaning "spiny", due to
the spiny central disk. They are herbaceous, drought-tolerant
perennial plants growing to 1 or 2 m in height. The leaves are
lanceolate to elliptic, 10-20 cm long and 1.5-10 cm broad. Like all
Asteraceae, the flowers are a composite inflorescence, with purple
(rarely yellow or white) florets arranged in a prominent, somewhat
cone-shaped head; "cone-shaped" because the petals of the outer ray
florets tend to point downward (are reflexed) once the flower head
opens, thus forming a cone.
Echinacea is an herb native to prairie habitats in the United
States. Some species of Echinacea, notably P. purpurea, E.
angustifolia, and E. pallida, are grown as ornamental plants in
gardens. They tolerate a wide variety of conditions, maintain
attractive foliage throughout the season, and multiply rapidly.
Appropriate species are used in prairie restorations. Some species
are used by domestic stock for forage; an abundance of these plants
on rangeland purportedly indicates "good health".
Species of Coneflower:
The species of Echinacea are:
- Echinacea angustifolia - Narrow-leaf Coneflower
- Echinacea atrorubens - Topeka Purple Coneflower
- Echinacea laevigata - Smooth Coneflower, Smooth Purple
- Echinacea pallida - Pale Purple Coneflower
- Echinacea paradoxa - Yellow Coneflower, Bush's Purple
- Echinacea purpurea - Purple Coneflower, Eastern Purple
- Echinacea singuinea - Singuine Purple Coneflower
- Echinacea simulata - Wavyleaf Purple Coneflower
- Echinacea tennesseensis - Tennessee Coneflower