Echinacea purpurea

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Echinacea purpurea
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Heliantheae
Genus: Echinacea
Species: E. purpurea
Binomial name
Echinacea purpurea
(L.) Moench
Synonyms

Brauneria purpurea (L.) Britt.
Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench var. arkansana Steyerm.
Rudbeckia purpurea L.

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower or purple coneflower) is a species of flowering plant in the genus Echinacea of the family Asteraceae.[1] Its cone-shaped flowering heads are usually, but not always, purple in the wild.[2] It is native to eastern North America[1] and present to some extent in the wild in much of the eastern, southeastern and midwest United States.[3]

Description[edit]

This herbaceous perennial is 120 cm (47 in) tall by 25 cm (10 in) wide at maturity. Depending on the climate, it blooms throughout spring to late summer. Its individual flowers (florets) within the flower head are hermaphroditic, having both male and female organs on each flower. It is pollinated by butterflies and bees. Its habitats include dry open woods, prairies and barrens, as well as cultivated beds. Although the plant prefers loamy or sandy, well-drained soils, it is little affected by the soil's pH.

Cultivation[edit]

E. purpurea is also grown as an ornamental plant, and numerous cultivars have been developed for flower quality and plant form.[2] Unable to grow in the shade, it thrives in either dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought once established. The cultivar 'Ruby Giant'[4]following has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

Propagation[edit]

It can be propagated either vegetatively or from seeds.[1] Useful vegetative techniques include division, root cuttings, and basal cuttings. Clumps can be divided, or broken into smaller bunches, which is normally done in the spring or autumn. Cuttings made from roots that are "pencil-sized" will develop into plants when started in late autumn or early winter.[2] Cuttings of basal shoots in the spring may be rooted when treated with rooting hormones.

Plants raised outdoors

Seed germination occurs best with daily temperature fluctuations[1] or after stratification,[5] which help to end dormancy. Seeds may be started indoors in advance of the growing season or outdoors after the growing season has started.

Predators[edit]

Slugs eat this plant.[1]

Medicinal properties[edit]

One study shows E. purpurea has antidepressant properties in white rats as it increased the stimulating action of L-DOPA.[6] Echinacea is believed by many people to stimulate the immune system.[7][8]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Echinacea purpurea - (L.)Moench.". Plants For A Future. June 2004. Retrieved 2007-06-06. 
  2. ^ a b c Bruce Zimmerman. Echinacea: Not always a purple coneflower.
  3. ^ "Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench (eastern purple coneflower)". PLANTS Profile. United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service. Retrieved 2007-06-07. 
  4. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Echinacea purpurea 'Ruby Giant'". Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  5. ^ USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Eastern Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
  6. ^ "SpringerLink - Journal Article". www.springerlink.com. Retrieved 2008-03-04. 
  7. ^ http://nccam.nih.gov/health/echinacea/ataglance.htm
  8. ^ Sadigh-Eteghad S, khayat-Nuri H, Abadi N, Ghavami S, Golabi M, Shanebandi D (2011). "Synergetic effects of oral administration of levamisole and Echinacea purpurea on immune response in Wistar rat". Res Vet Sci. 91 (1): 82–5. doi:10.1016/j.rvsc.2010.07.027. PMID 20797737. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

The purple coneflower has a wide variety of interactions with different organisms. Several birds and insects, particularly different types of bees and butterflies, have a mutualistic relationship with this plant. Bees and butterflies feed on the sweet nectar of the purple coneflower which in return, disperses the pollen seeds for the flower to reproduce. To learn about a particular type of bee, the Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee, click here.

Birds (mostly finches) enjoy eating the seeds from the purple coneflower. This is a mutualistic relationship because the bird gets to eat the seeds and the purple coneflower gets to spread their seeds via the bird's feces. To learn about another type of bird, the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, click here.

The purple coneflower has very few predators; however two of the more harmful predators are slugs and humans. Slugs can eat any type of vegetation, but prefer tender leaves like the purple coneflower’s leaves. To learn about a relative of a slug, the Ramshorn Snail, click here.

Humans are the primary predator to Echinacea purpurea not because humans eat it, but they use this plant for aThis is a picture I took. variety of things. Several studies have suggested that Echinacea purpurea contains many substances that enhances the activity of the immune system, relieves pain, and reduces inflammation. Echinacea purpurea also has many hormonal, antiviral, and antioxidant effects which is why some professionals may suggest this plant to treat different medical problems such as urinary tract infections, yeast infections, ear infections, athlete’s foot, and hay fever. This plant was used by Native Americans since the early 1800’s as an herb to treat sick and injured people. To learn more about the Tea Plant, another organism used in herbs, click here.

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