Echinacea laevigata: Smooth Purple Coneflower

Latin name: Echinacea laevigata
 Echinacea laevigata: Smooth Purple Coneflower
Common name: Smooth Purple Coneflower
Flowers: Purple to pink, showy and delicate drooping purple rays. Blooms June to August12
Fruit: Not significant 13
Height & Width: 2-5’ x 1.5-2’12
Type: Herbaceous perennial 12
Habit: Upright, cascading, mound16
Wetland indicator category**: No Wetland indicator was available for this plant.
Texture: Fine16
Growth rate: Moderate12
Light: Full sun to part shade12
Moisture: Dry to medium12
Soil: Tolerates clay soil, dry soil, shallow and rocky soil12
Zones: 3-812
Origin: Southeastern United States16
Note: This plant is on the United States threatened and endangered species list16

Features: Beautiful, purple showy flowers are an attractive addition to a planting bed. The long-blooming flowers provide for longer color interest in the native plant garden. It can grow to be 2 to 5 feet tall, so placement must be made accordingly. Butterflies and other wildlife are attracted to the habitat this plant provides12.

Siting: 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. Plants usually re-bloom 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 place12.

Care: Plant in suitable site with adequate soil organic matter so that the crown of the plant is at the soil surface18. Ensure the soil is adequately moist immediately after planting. Keep soil moist but not soggy until plant is established. Once plant is established water deeply but infrequently whenever the soil surface is dry or almost dry 2” below the soil surface18.

Pests: Plants are relatively pest resistant if preferences are met, but Japanese beetle and leaf spot are occasional problems.

Author: Whitney Blue Fraser, Editor: Alexander Smolka