Echinacea, Purple Coneflower
Echinacea purpurea. Perennial. 2' to 3'.
Echinacea or Purple Coneflower Blooms from June to October. Flowers are borne on long stems with purple rays surrounding a large purple cone. Drought tolerant. Echinacea is a Native American medicinal plant used for over 400 years as a general tonic by natives and early settlers. The large conical seed head resemble a hedgehog(echinos is Greek for hedgehog).
Planting Directions: Sow seed indoors to 8 to 10 weeks before transplanting. For better results, place seed in refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks before planting. Plant seed in sterile seed starting mix, just barely cover the seed and keep soil temperature at 70° to 80°. Transplant in soil amended with compost in when plants are at least 3” tall. Direct sow in early spring when a frost is still possible or in late fall in well prepared soil. Space plants 15” to 18” apart in full sun. Water plants regularly especially during hot weather. Cut flower heads off at the base or leave them on all winter for winter interest and to feed the birds.