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Purple Coneflower: A Native Favorite

14 Jul 2021 1:00 AM | Brenda Peshak

Purple Coneflower= native

The Purple Coneflower,  Echinacea purpurea, is a herbaceous perennial, tolerant to many soil types, sun or shade.  It attracts birds and butterflies to the garden, and  is a good fresh cut or dried flower.  Easy to maintain, it blooms from June to August and self seeds in the naturalized garden.

Facts about Purple Coneflower:

Scientific Name : Echinacea purpurea
Variety, cultivar, or trademark name  Purple Coneflower
Bloom Time? Color?: Purplish pink during June to August
Type or Average Life Span:  Divide every 4 years
Height:  2 to 5 feet
Width/Spread:  1.5 to 2 feet

Good things to know about Purple Coneflower :

The Purple Coneflower is an adaptable plant that grows well in full to partial sun, and in dry to medium, well-drained soil.  It is tolerant of poor soil, heat, humidity and drought.  The plants for new flowers after the initial bloom, and self-seed if dried seed heads are not removed.  Native to Eastern North America, they grow in Hardiness Zones 3 to 8.  Great plant for naturalized areas and need very little maintenance.

Echinacea purpurea facts:

One of our most popular native wildflowers, purple cornflower thrives in almost any sunny area except for those with wet, poorly drained soils. Its large, pinkish-purple daisy-like flowers open in late summer, providing one of the season’s most beautiful sights.

Typically 3-5 feet tall, its stems are strong and rough, as are the coarse, hairy leaves. The name “echinacea” comes from the Greek word for hedge hog, echinos, referring to the spiky appearance of the center cone–hence, the name coneflower.

Coneflower is important food source for Iowa birds and wildlife:

When the flowers fade and the seed cone dries, the plant is visited by finches and other birds. Deer and rabbits usually leave the plant alone. Seeds dropped in fall usually produce small plants the following spring, which sometimes bloom the first year. Plants are readily available at local nurseries.

Very easy to grow, coneflower is an excellent pollinator, attracting bees and butterflies. Its only problems are occasional visits from Japanese beetles and infrequent attacks of aster yellows; if a stalk turns black, remove but do not compost.

Easy to grow!

Cultivars abound in shades of red, orange, yellow, pink-purple, and even white. In all, purple coneflower should be planted more frequently—for beauty, for wildlife food, and for ease of cultivation. Coneflowers are found throughout Demonstration garden.

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