Echinacea purpurea (Eastern Purple Coneflower)

Scientific Name

Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench

Common Names

Eastern Purple Coneflower, Purple Coneflower, Black Samson, Hedgehog Coneflower, Purple Coneflower, Purple Daisy, Snakeroot, Kansas Snakeroot, Scurvy Root, Indian Head, Comb Flower, Black Susans, Echinacée Pourpre (French), Roter Scheinsonnenhut (German), Echinacija Purpurovaja (Transliterated Russian), Röd Rudbeckia (Swedish)


Rudbeckia purpurea, Rudbeckia purpurea var. purpurea, Brauneria purpurea, Echinacea intermedia, Echinacea purpurea var. purpurea, Echinacea serotina, Echinacea speciosa, Helichroa purpurea

Scientific Classification

Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Heliantheae
Genus: Echinacea


Color: Light purple and brown
Bloom Time: Spring to late summer


Echinacea purpurea is a herbaceous perennial with coarsely ovate or lance-shaped hairy leaves that grow up to 47 inches (1.2 m) tall and up to 10 inches (25 cm) wide at maturity. Depending on the climate, it blooms throughout spring to late summer. The solitary flower-heads are up to 4.7 inches (12 cm) across with slightly reflexed, light purple rays and brown central disk. Its individual flowers (florets) within the flower head are hermaphroditic, having both male and female organs on each flower.

Echinacea purpurea (Eastern Purple Coneflower)

How to Grow and Care

Coneflowers are often listed as drought tolerant, but they will do much better with regular water. I leave the plants standing through winter to feed the birds. Shearing them back in the spring will result in bushier plants that bloom longer into the season. Deadheading is the primary maintenance required with Coneflowers. They are prolific bloomers, and keeping them deadheaded will keep them in bloom all summer. Luckily each flower remains in bloom for several weeks. Flowers start blooming from the top of the stem. As the initial flower fades, more side shoots and buds will form along the stem. Keep the plants deadheaded, and you'll keep getting more flowers.

If you don't want to start your own seeds, there are plenty of varieties available for purchase as plants, especially through mail order. Plants can also be divided or grown from stem cuttings. Coneflower can be planted in either spring or fall. Be sure to allow for good air circulation to prevent fungal diseases. See more at How to Grow and Care for Coneflower.


Native to eastern North America.



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