Fall Wildflowers of New England
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Purple Coneflower
Echinacea purpurea
F. Asteraceae
General Description:

Purple coneflower is a relatively large wildflower, ranging from 30-150 cm. in height. As indicated by its name, the flower head has a prominent, spiny, brown central cone that is surrounded by light purple or white petal-like rays. The leaves are lanceolate with pronounced tapered ends, roughly textured and have long petioles. The stalk is robust and also coarsely textured.

Echinacea purpurea
Flowers:

Each purple coneflower has a singular flowerhead positioned atop the terminal shoot. The flowerheads are quite large, measuring 6.5-10 cm. in width, and are radially symmetrical. The bloom has a prominent, brown, spiny central cone that is surrounded by downward drooping, long, whitish purple long, prominently linearly-veined, bristle-tipped petal-like rays. Rays grow form the underportion of the central cone.

Leaves:

The leaves of the purple coneflower are thin and lanceolate-to-ovate in shape. The leaves have long petioles, are prominently veined, and have serrated margins. Leaves are several and grow irregularly along the length of the stalk

Habitat:

Purple coneflower grows best in fields, prairies, or dry open woods.

Fun Facts:

Purple coneflower is a medicinal plant whose flowers can be used to make a tea that strengthens the immune system. Liquid capsule- or pill form plant extract is commercially sold in most drugstores.

The genus name of purple coneflower comes form the Greek word echino, meaning hedgehog, and refers to its spiny brown central cone

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