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Purple Coneflower

Species

Common Name Purple Coneflower

Latin Name: Echinacea purpurea

[Pronounced: "eck-in-ACE-ee-ah purr-purr-EE-ah"]

Type of Plant: Prairie Forb ("wildflower")


Identification Helps: No other Ohio prairie flower is similar. The pink color of the drooping ray flowers (the "petals") are diagnostic.


Similar Species: There are no other similar Ohio coneflowers. The horticultural selections of the species are now commonly available and grown in gardens.


Preferred Growing Conditions in the Wild: Purple coneflower grows in moderately to well drained soils.


Seasons of Growth and Bloom: This stunning forb blooms in Ohio from late June all the way to late September.


Natural Distribution in Ohio: Although purple coneflower will grow just about anywhere when planted in Ohio (except in shaded areas), it occurs naturally only in the central and southern prairie areas. Except for a single, isolated site near the Maumee River southwest of Toledo, purple coneflower is not native anywhere in the northern third of Ohio. Those wishing to create or restore authentic local prairies in the northern parts of Ohio should refrain from using this more southern forb, its beauty notwithstanding. In the north, it's an alien species.


Description and General Information: Easily grown and prominently colorful, this species has large, embedded seeds that are eagerly consumed by seed-eating birds in the autumn.