Echinacea

Millie Davenport,
Home & Garden Information Center

Echinacea, also known as coneflowers, are perennial flowering plants that are hardy in Zones 3 to 9, depending on the species. Echinacea species are native to the eastern and central regions of the United States. The genus is named after the Greek word for hedgehog, echinos, because of the prickly center of the flower. Of the eight to nine species of Echinacea, E. purpurea, the purple coneflower, is most readily available.

Echinacea species have dark green lower leaves that are lance to oval shaped measuring 4- to 8- inches long, becoming smaller and narrower toward the top of the stems. They bloom in mid-summer and continue to flower sporadically until frost. The flowers measure 2 to 4 inches in diameter with a mounded, brown, central cone of disk flowers, surrounded by pink, purple, yellow or white petals or ray flowers, depending on the species. The ray flowers extend straight out from the center or tend to slightly reflex downward.

For more information on Echinacea, see HGIC 1182, Echinacea.

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