Also known as
Cone Flower, Black Samson, Comb Flower, Hedgehog, Indian Head, Rudbeckia, Sampson Head, Scurvy Root, Snakeroot
CH Echinacea purpurea by Daniel Schwen (CC BY-SA 4.0)
2 years to reach maturity
This plant has a mild fragrance
More images of Echinacea
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 with Echinacea
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.
How to harvest Echinacea
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.
How to propagate Echinacea
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.
Make root cuttings in late autumn or early winter.
Divide the root ball during domancy or as it start to send up shoots, but they resent a lot of disturbance.
Special features of Echinacea
Attracts useful insects
Attracts insects like bees and butterflies.
Flowers may be light to dark pink, white, red and purple.
Other uses of Echinacea
This late summer flower suits informal borders in cottage/wildlife friendly or prairie gardens.
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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