Echinacea is a flowering plant of the daisy family. Commonly called Purple Coneflowers, this plant makes a fabulous addition to home gardens and landscaping. Because the plant is easy to grow and care for, it is a good choice even for beginning gardeners.
This plant can often be seen growing wild in prairies and woods in the northern part of the country. The name Echinacea, which is Greek for sea urchin, was given to the plant because the center of the bloom resembles that particular type of sea creature
The flowers, which are large and colorful, bloom from early to late summer. In some of the nine varieties, a later bloom time is not uncommon.
This is a very pest-resistant plant. If you live in an area where deer are problematic to your garden then you will be happy to learn that it is also deer resistant.
The nine varieties of Purple Coneflowers are:
• Narrow-leaf Coneflower
• Topeka Purple Coneflower
• Smooth Purple Coneflower
• Pale Purple Coneflower
• Bush’s Purple Coneflower (which, interestingly, produces yellow blooms)
• Eastern Purple Coneflower
• Sanguine Purple Coneflower
• Wavyleaf Purple Coneflower
• Tennessee Coneflower
Purple Coneflowers are known for being very easy to care for.
Here are some simple tips to help you get the best possible results:
• Plant about 12 inches apart in a spot that receives full sun or, at most, light shade.
• Be sure the soil is well-draining as the plants will not do well with “wet feet”.
• While the plant is drought tolerant, you should water as needed to keep the soil moist.
• Once established, very little care is required to keep the plant going. They do drop seeds, so if you worry about too much spread, consider deadheading the plants.
For many years people have been doing studies to prove that the plant has medicinal value. While the jury is still out – some experts say the flower may be useful others say it is not – there are a variety of products that tout the value of this plant.
Most commonly, it is said to be useful is preventing or reducing the duration of the common cold.
Formulas containing Purple Coneflowers, which will be listed by the proper name, Echinacea, can be found in health food stores and in drug stores.
They are a wonderful choice for a butterfly garden as butterflies seem very much drawn to these lovely blooms. Add this plant to your butterfly garden and you will be sure to have lots of beautiful winged visitors.
This plant look great in cut flower arrangements, and the large blooms are often the star of the show.
This flower is often used by experts when doing prairie restoration. It can be just as perfect a choice when you want to create a wildflower meadow of your own.
Purple Coneflowers are lovely, easy to care for and will make a wonderful addition to your next gardening project.
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