Echinacea pallida

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Echinacea pallida
Echinacea pallida butterfly MN 2007.JPG
E. pallida with butterfly
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Heliantheae
Genus: Echinacea
Species: E. pallida
Binomial name
Echinacea pallida

Rudbeckia pallida Nutt.
Brouneria pallida Britton

Echinacea pallida (Nutt.), commonly called pale purple coneflower, is a species of herbaceous perennial plant in the family Asteraceae. It is sometimes grown in gardens and used for medicinal purposes. Its native range is the south central region of the United States.


E. pallida is similar to E. angustifolia, but plants often grow taller, ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 ft (45 to 75 cm) tall, with some growing 3 feet (90 cm) or more tall. Plants normally grow with one unbranched stem in the wild, but often produce multi-stemmed clumps in gardens. They have deep taproots that are spindle shaped, wider in the center and narrowing at the ends. Stems are green in color or mottled with purple and green. The leaves are elongated lanceolate or linear-lanceolate in shape with three veins. Flower head rays are narrow, linear, elongated, and drooping, ranging from 1 to 3 inches (2.5 to 7.6 cm) long. The flower heads are from ¾ to 3 inches (2 to 7.6 cm) wide with pale rose-purple or nearly white colored petals. The flowers have white pollen. The fruits are cypselae and are tan or bi-colored with angled edges.

Habitat and range[edit]

It is native to the United States where it is found growing in dry soils, in rocky prairies, open wooded hillsides, and glades. It grows natively as far north as Michigan and southward into Alabama and Texas, and has been introduced outside of its native range into Connecticut, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, and Virginia. E. pallida blooms from May into July.[1] The states of Tennessee and Wisconsin list the species as threatened, mostly due to habitat loss and over-collection of roots, which are made into herbal medicine. The use of Echinacea as a medicinal plant has not been demonstrated to have any positive health effects.[2][3][4][5][6][7]

E. pallida (Pale Purple Coneflower) at Minnesota Landscape Arboretum


  • Britton, N., & Brown, A. (1913). An illustrated flora of the Northern United States, Canada from Newfoundland to the parallel of the southern boundary of Virginia, and from the Atlantic Ocean westward to the 102nd meridian. [S.l.]: Scribner. ISBN 0-486-22644-1