Culture: 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. Divide clumps when they become overcrowded (about every 4 years). Plants usually rebloom 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 place.
Noteworthy Characteristics: Purple coneflower is a native plant which occurs in rocky open woods and prairies. Large, daisy-like flowers with slightly drooping, rose purple petals (ray flowers) and large, coppery-orange central cones. Long summer bloom period. Best flower display is late June to late July, with sporadic continued bloom into autumn. Flowers grow on rigid stems typically to 3′ tall (less frequently to 5′). Dark green leaves (4-8″ long) are lance-shaped and coarsely-toothed. Good fresh cut or dried flower. The dead flower stems will remain erect well into the winter and, if flower heads are not removed, are often visited by goldfinches who perch on or just below the blackened cones to feed on the seeds. Echinacea comes from the Greek word “echinos” meaning hedgehog in reference to the spiny center cone. Zones 3 to 8.
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