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Purple coneflower

Echinacea purpurea

Echinacea purpurea

Regular price $6.48 USD
Regular price Sale price $6.48 USD
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Sun/shade: Full sun to part shade

Soil moisture: Dry to medium

Height: 3-4'

Spread: 1"

Flowering period: July

In making a list of organisms most attracted to purple coneflower, one would have to include the home gardener! The plant’s devotees include those gardening for wildlife as well as those interested simply in aesthetics. And indeed, the plant's popularity has aided its dispersal to flowerbeds throughout the country.

An outstanding ambassador for native plants, purple coneflower offers more color per unit area than perhaps any other native wildflower. Spreading by means of short rhizomes, a colony of purple coneflowers produces 4” wide flowerheads atop upright stems, making an impressive patch of pink color. At the center of each flowerhead, a bristly cone shows iridescent hues of orange and green in the sunlight. In addition to drawing in a variety of bee species, purple coneflower is a favorite of butterflies, including monarchs, swallowtails, fritillaries, sulphurs, and red admirals.

Primarily a forest edge species, purple coneflower likes partial or full sun and average soil moisture, but it has fairly good drought tolerance too. The plant blooms throughout the month of July and helps create a stunning floral palette alongside grey-headed coneflower, Virginia mountain mint, and wild bergamot, among others. Due to its tolerance for partial shade, purple coneflower works well in places of broken sunlight and near the edge of an overlying tree canopy, offering a rare option for midsummer color in these spaces.

Photo © Zoe Roane-Hopkins, CC BY 2.0.

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