• Echinacea purpurea - Purple Coneflower

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    "Purple Coneflower is an herbaceous perennial in the Asteraceae (daisy) family that is native to central and eastern USA. It may grow 3 to 4 feet tall and produce pinkish-purple flowers that mature in early summer through mid-fall. Many cultivars are available for varied sizes and colors.  Several pollinators are attracted to the flower, especially butterflies. Leave some of the flower heads on to produce seeds for the birds.

    This plant prefers well-drained moist loams but is adaptable to various soil types. It is drought tolerant once established and can grow in full sun to partial shade. It is easily propagated by seed and will reseed itself in the garden.

    This is a popular and long-blooming plant for use in the native garden, meadows, pollinator gardens and naturalized areas."  (North Carolina Extension)


    Echinacea Purpurea Botany  by Dr. John Hilty
    Aster family (Asteraceae)




    Cultivation:

    "The preference is full to partial sun and moist to mesic conditions. Growth is best in fertile loam, but the soil can contain some gravel or clay. Foliar disease is rarely troublesome. While there is some drought resistance, the entire plant will wilt if the soil becomes too dry, particularly in strong sunlight. This plant is very easy to grow if the preceding requirements are met." (Hilty)

    Faunal Associations: 

    "The flowers are cross-pollinated by long-tongued bees, bee flies, Halictid bees, butterflies, and skippers. Among long-tongued bees, are such visitors as honeybees, bumblebees, digger bees (Melissodes spp.), and leaf-cutting bees (Megachile spp.). Butterfly visitors include Monarchs, Fritillaries, Painted Ladies, Swallowtails, Sulfurs, and Whites. The caterpillars of the butterfly Chlosyne nycteis (Silvery Checkerspot) feed on the foliage, while the caterpillars of several moths feed on the flowerheads. These latter species include Chlorochlamys chloroleucaria (Blackberry Looper), Eupithecia miserulata (Common Eupithecia), Synchlora aerata (Wavy-Lined Emerald), and Homoeosoma electella (Sunflower Moth). A small songbird, the Eastern Goldfinch, occasionally eats the seeds during the summer and early fall." (Hilty)



    Covers
    1. "Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)" by BarefootGardener is licensed under CC BY 2.0
    2. "Echinacea purpurea" by ai3310X is licensed under CC BY 2.0


    North Carolina Extension plant description: Echinacea Purpurea (Coneflower, Eastern Purple Coneflower, Purple Coneflower, Purple Rudbeckia) | North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox. https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/echinacea-purpurea/. Accessed 3 Feb. 2022.

    John Hilty botany, cultivation, and faunal associations: John Hilty, "Purple Coneflower", Illinois Wildflowers, the publisher, Copyright 2004-2019. Accessed 3 February 2022

    Floral Associations image (bee pollinating): "Honey bee and Echinacea purpurea" by Swallowtail Garden Seeds is licensed under CC BY 2.0


    Information and images compiled by Erik N. Vegeto

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