Echinacea purpurea

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"Purple coneflower" redirects here. This common name is sometimes used for other purple flowered plants in the genus Echinacea.
Echinacea purpurea
Echinacea purpurea, Jardín Botánico, Múnich, Alemania, 2013-09-08, DD 01.jpg
photo taken at Munich Botanical Garden in Germany
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
  • Brauneria purpurea (L.) Britton
  • Echinacea intermedia Lindl. ex Paxton
  • Echinacea speciosa (Wender.) Paxton
  • Helichroa purpurea (L.) Raf.
  • Rudbeckia purpurea L.

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower[2] or purple coneflower) is a North American species of flowering plant in the sunflower family.[3][4] It is native to eastern North America[3] and present to some extent in the wild in much of the eastern, southeastern and midwestern United States as well as in the Canadian Province of Ontario. It is most common in the Ozarks and in the Mississippi/Ohio Valley[5][6]


Echinacea purpurea is an herbaceous perennial up to 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 cone-shaped flowering heads are usually, but not always, purple in the wild. Its individual flowers (florets) within the flower head are hermaphroditic, having both male and female organs in each flower. It is pollinated by butterflies and bees. Its habitats include dry open woods, prairies and barrens, as well as in cultivated beds. Although the plant prefers loamy or sandy, well-drained soils, it is little affected by the soil's pH.[2]


Echinacea purpurea is also grown as an ornamental plant, and numerous cultivars have been developed for flower quality and plant form.[4] Unable to grow in the shade, it thrives in either dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought once established. The cultivar 'Ruby Giant'[7] following has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.


Echinacea purpurea can be propagated either vegetatively or from seeds.[3] 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.[4] Cuttings of basal shoots in the spring may be rooted when treated with rooting hormones, such as IBA at 1000 ppm.[8]

Plants raised outdoors

Seed germination occurs best with daily temperature fluctuations[3] or after stratification,[9] which help to end dormancy. Seeds may be started indoors in advance of the growing season or outdoors after the growing season has started.


Slugs eat this plant.[3]

Medicinal properties[edit]

One study shows E. purpurea has antidepressant properties in white rats as it increased the stimulating action of L-DOPA.[10] Echinacea is believed by many people to stimulate the immune system.[11][12] In indigenous medicine of the native American Indians, the plant is used externally for wounds, burns, and insect bites, chewing of roots for toothache and throat infections; internal application is used for pain, cough, stomach cramps and snake bites.[13]



  1. ^ The Plant List, Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench
  2. ^ a b Flora of North America, Eastern purple coneflower, Echinacea purpurea (Linnaeus) Moench, Methodus. 591. 1794.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Echinacea purpurea - (L.)Moench.". Plants For A Future. June 2004. Retrieved 2007-06-06. 
  4. ^ a b c Bruce Zimmerman. Echinacea: Not always a purple coneflower.
  5. ^ "Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench (eastern purple coneflower)". PLANTS Profile. United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service. Retrieved 2007-06-07. 
  6. ^ Biota of North America Program 2014 county distribution map
  7. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Echinacea purpurea 'Ruby Giant'". Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  8. ^ Carey, Dennis; Avent, Tony. "Echinacea Explosion - The Purple Coneflower Chronicles". Plant Delights Nursery Article. Plant Delights Nursery. Retrieved 2015-07-12. 
  9. ^ USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Eastern Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
  10. ^ "SpringerLink - Journal Article". Retrieved 2008-03-04. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ 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. 
  13. ^ Wang L, Waltenberger B, Pferschy-Wenzig EM, Blunder M, Liu X, Malainer C, Blazevic T, Schwaiger S, Rollinger JM, Heiss EH, Schuster D, Kopp B, Bauer R, Stuppner H, Dirsch VM, Atanasov AG. Natural product agonists of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ): a review. Biochem Pharmacol. 2014 Jul 29. pii: S0006-2952(14)00424-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2014.07.018. PubMed PMID 25083916.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]