The Purple cone-flower (Echinacea purpurea) belongs to the family Asteraceae. It is native to eastern North America and is popular ornamental plant in cottage, natural and so called prairie gardens. It looks good with grasses and other flowers of the same family.
Many cultivars has been developed today for quality of flower shape and colour. Echinacea is up to 1.2 m tall herbaceous perennial plant. It prefers loamy well drained soil and an open position.
Bees pollinate the flowers.
Echinacea is a well known medical plant used against the cold and as an immunostimulator.
Echinacea can be propagated by division of the clump or by sowing the seed. Of course, plants raised from seed will not be true to the mother plant. The flowers last really long. You can cut them off when they fade away for a second flowering in late summer. Dry stems look attractive even in winter covered by snow.
The central disc of tubular flowers looks like a hedgehog, hence the name "echinacea" - form Greek "echino" meaning hedgehog.