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A picture of a Purple Coneflower

Purple Coneflower

Echinacea purpurea

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Also known as

Black Samson, Hedgehog Cone Flower, Purple Daisy, Coneflower, Broad-Leaved Purple Coneflower

Full Sun
Easy care
Light watering
Frost Hardy

H6-H4

RHS hardiness

-20°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

1.5m

Max

50cm

1m

Min

10cm

2 years to reach maturity

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

More images

A photo of Purple Coneflower
A photo of Purple Coneflower
A photo of Purple Coneflower
A photo of Purple Coneflower

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Overview

Echinacea purpurea is widely renowned as a medicinal plant. The genus Echinacea is named after the Greek word for hedgehog, echinos, because of the prickly centre of the flower. The pretty, daisy-like purple-pink flowers are attractive to butterflies and other pollinating wildlife, they are produced singly and individual flowers measure approximately 12cm in diameter. Flowers consist of purple-pink ray florets and brown central disc florets. Commonly known as coneflower, this species is a long-flowering perennial that is well-placed in borders. To encouraged delayed blooming for autumn, cut plants back by half in early summer.

Common problems

Pests include leaf miners and weevils (on leaves). Powdery mildew, Bacterial leaf spots, Aster Yellows is transmitted to the plant as leaf hoppers feed on the plant (affecting the flower,stunting its growth) can be avoided by planting flowers in a well ventilated area with good air flow. Severely infected plants should be discarded.

Harvesting

Harvest flowers and leaves throughout the summer months and plant roots during autumn. Cut flowers in the plants 2nd year, strip leaves & flower heads & spread to dry. Store the dried coneflowers & leaves in a sealed container in a cool, dark & dry place until use.

Propagation

Seed

Sow in Spring and Summer with a spacing between 30 - 40 cm. Sow about 6 - 8 mm deep and it will germinate in 14 - 21 days.

Cuttings

Make root cuttings in late autumn or early winter.

Division

Divide the root ball during domancy or as it start to send up shoots, but they resent a lot of disturbance.

Special Features

Attracts useful insects

Attracts insects like bees and butterflies.

Crop rotation

Light feeder

Attractive flowers

Flowers may be light to dark pink, white, red and purple.

Uses

This late summer flower suits informal borders in cottage/wildlife friendly or prairie gardens.

Medicinal

Alleviates skin rashes and boost the immune system - effective against colds and flu. Promoters of Echinacea say that the herb encourages the immune system and reduces many of the symptoms of colds, flu and some other illnesses, infections, and conditions.

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