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Perennials, Weeds > Echinacea > Echinacea purpurea > Echinacea purpurea

Echinacea purpurea

Eastern Purple Coneflower, Echinacea, Snakeroot

Origin:  Central to southeastern United States of America. Genus name from the Greek word 'echinos' which means hedgehog or sea-urchin, in reference to the flower's prickly bracts.
Perennials, Weeds
USDA Hardiness Zone
3 - 8
Canadian Hardiness Zone
1a - 8a
RHS Hardiness Zone
H4 - H7
Temperature (°C)
-40 - (-7)
Temperature (°F)
-40 - 20
60 - 90 cm
60 - 90 cm
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
Echinacea purpurea or Purple Coneflower is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial with daisy-like, red-purple flowers.
Plant in large groupings in a naturalized butterfly garden or herbaceous border. The purple flowers are excellent for cutting, drying or left to provide winter interest. Commonly paired with Black-Eyed Susans, creating a nice contrast in colour and form.
Easy to grow in full sun to part shade, in average, well-drained soil. Water regularly but do not overwater. Best flowering in full sun. Tolerant of drought, clay or shallow rocky soils, heat, humidity and deer. Self-seeds freely; deadhead if you do not want seedlings the following season. Divide clumps when overcrowding occurs.
Possible problems include: Japanese beetle and leaf spot.
Moist prairies and open woodlands.
Leaf Description
Mostly basal leaves up to 15 ⨉ 10 cm, dark green, ovate-lanceolate. Leaves on the stem are tapered to the base, denticulate, sometimes entire.
Flower Description
Red-purple ray florets 3 - 8 cm in diameter, drooping slightly. Prominent central cone of orange disc florets. Attract birds and butterflies.
Fruit Description
Cypsela, a dry fruit formed from a double ovary, of which only one develops into a single seed.
Notable Specimens
The A. M. Cuddy Gardens, Strathroy, Ontario, Canada.
From seed sown outdoors in autumn or in winter in vented containers kept in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse. Seeds should be stratified if sowing indoors. Propagation also by division of the rootball.
Ethnobotanical Uses (Disclaimer)
Echinacea was highly valued for its medicinal purposes by the Native Americans. It served many purposes including pain relief, anti-inflammatory, toothache relief, cough suppressant, cold medicine, to soothe a sore throat and prevent and treat infections. It was also used as an antidote to snake venom and other poisons.