You are here

Echinacea purpurea - Purple Coneflower

Purple ConeflowerCommon Name: Purple Coneflower[1]

Scientific Name: Echinacea purpurea

Description: Summer-blooming, herbaceous North American perennial; Showy, deep-pink, daisy-like flowers on tall stems above a thick clump of deep green foliage

Size: Grows 3 to 4 feet in height by 2 to 3 feet wide

Cultural Information: Prefers full sun to light shade and well-drained garden loam; drought tolerant; plant the crown at ground level

USDA Zones: 3 through 9

Historical Notes: Native to central and southeastern United States, this showy perennial was first sent to Europe by Reverend John Banister, an English chaplain sent to Virginia by Bishop Compton in 1678.[2] John Clayton collected this plant from Virginia and sent it to Europe in the 1700s.[3] In the 19th century, Thomas Fessenden, an important American garden writer, commented on coneflowers: "Many flowers-€¦very durable-€¦much admired."

Known as Echinacea by most people, the Purple Coneflower is said to have medicinal purposes, such as alleviating symptoms of the common cold.[4]


  1. This article is based on a Center for Historic Plants Information Sheet.
  2. Lawrence D. Griffith, Flowers and Herbs of Early America (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2008), 180. Joan Dutton states that the plant was in France via Canada by the early 1600s. See Joan Parry Dutton, Plants of Colonial Williamsburg (Williamsburg: Colonial Williamsburg, 1979), 98.
  3. Griffith, 180.
  4. Ibid.

Further Sources


Login or register to participate in our online community.