Purple Coneflower is native to the central and southeastern United States and is valued for its showy pink, daisy-like flowers and its drought tolerance. It was first exported to Europe in 1699 by John Banister, an English chaplain sent to Virginia by Bishop Compton in 1678.1 John Clayton collected this plant from Virginia and sent it to Europe in the 1700s.2 In the 19th century, Thomas Fessenden, an important American garden writer, commented on coneflowers: "many flowers," "very durable," "much admired."3
Known as Echinacea by most people, the purple coneflower is said to have medicinal purposes, such as alleviating symptoms of the common cold.4
Visit Monticello’s Online Shop to check for seeds or plants of Purple Coneflower.
Typical Blooming Dates: May - September
Growth Type: Perennial
Hardiness Zones: 3 - 9
Location at Monticello: West Lawn
Planting Conditions: Full and Partial Shade
- Adams, Denise Wiles. Restoring American Gardens: An Encyclopedia of Heirloom Ornamental Plants, 1640-1940. Portland, OR: Timber Press, Inc., 2004.
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Plant Database. "Echinacea purpurea (Eastern purple coneflower)."
- Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants.
- 1. 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 Foundation, 1979), 98.
- 2. Griffith, Flowers and Herbs, 180.
- 3. Thomas G. Fessenden, The New American Gardener (Boston: Russell, Odiorne & Co., 1835), 126.
- 4. Griffith, Flowers and Herbs, 180.