Michael A. Stecker


Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
field of coneflowers

Similar in appearance to the Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbekia hirta), the Purple Coneflower and its three cousins, Black Sampson (E. angustifolia), Pale Purple Coneflower (E. pallida) and E. atrorubens (no common name) are members of the sunflower family or Compositae.  The Compositae have two kinds of flowers combined in one flower head: strap-like ray flowers around the outside of the head and disk flowers in the center of the head.  The ray flowers make up what would be thought of as the petals. They are robust, drought tolerant perennial, native to the Midwestern and southeastern United States. The flowers are arranged individually on sturdy, elongated stems with soft lavender or purple petals surrounding an iridescent red-orange, coned center. Prefers full sun to partial shade in fertile, well-drained soils. Absolutely stunning!!!
An excellent variety for cut flower arrangements with a vase life of 5 to 7 days. Propagation from root cuttings is reliable if performed in the fall.

Height: 2-3 feet
Flower heads: pink/lavender petals surrounding an iridescent red-orange, coned center
Germination: 15-30 days
Optimum soil temperature for germination: 70-75F
Sowing depth: 1/8"
Blooming period: June-October
Suggested use: Borders, meadows, mixtures, floral gardens.