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Echinacea purpurea

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Kemper Code:  C580

Common Name: purple coneflower
Zone: 3 to 8
Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Missouri Native: Yes
Native Range: Eastern United States
Height: 2 to 5 feet
Spread: 1.5 to 2 feet
Bloom Time: June - August   Bloom Data
Bloom Color: Purplish pink
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low

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Plant Culture and Characteristics

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  Uses:       Wildlife:   Flowers:   Leaves:   Fruit:
Hedge Suitable as annual Attracts birds Has showy flowers Leaves colorful Has showy fruit
Shade tree Culinary herb Attracts Has fragrant flowers Leaves fragrant Fruit edible
Street tree Vegetable   hummingbirds Flowers not showy Good fall color   Other:
Flowering tree Water garden plant Attracts Good cut flower Evergreen Winter interest
Gr. cover (<1') Will naturalize   butterflies Good dried flower     Thorns or spines

General Culture:

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.

Noteworthy Characteristics:

Purple coneflower is a Missouri native plant which occurs in rocky open woods and prairies throughout the State. Large, daisy-like flowers with slightly drooping, rose purple petals (ray flowers) and large, coppery-orange central cones. Long summer bloom period. Best flower display is late June to late July, with sporadic continued bloom into autumn. Flowers grow on rigid stems typically to 3' tall (less frequently to 5'). Dark green leaves (4-8" long) are lance-shaped and coarsely-toothed. Good fresh cut or dried flower. The dead flower stems will remain erect well into the winter and, if flower heads are not removed, are often visited by goldfinches who perch on or just below the blackened cones to feed on the seeds. Echinacea comes from the Greek word echinos meaning hedgehog in reference to the spiny center cone.


Japanese beetle and leaf spot are occasional problems.


Excellent, long-blooming flower for massing in the border, meadow, native plant garden, naturalized area, wildflower garden or part shade area of woodland garden. Often massed with black-eyed Susans (rudbeckias).

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2001-2011

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