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Echinacea purpurea
Purple coneflower
Asteraceae (sunflower)  family

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Purple coneflower (with American Painted Lady)

Echinacea purpurea (purple coneflower)   is a showy, clump-forming herbaceous perennial that dies to the ground in winter, and sprouts back in spring.  Established clumps can be up to 3' in diameter and just as tall.  The daisy like flowers are up to 3" across, and very attractive with rose-purple rays and large, cone-shaped purple brown centers.  Historically, this plant has been grown for its medicinal properties and is still used today to make commercial herbal remedies.

Native to North America, where is was a part of the original prarie community.


Culture

Light:  Does best in full sun; In hot, humid places, they benefit from some afternoon shade.

Moisture:  Drought tolerant.   Likes rich, neutral well drained (dry) soil.

Hardiness:  Zone 3

Propagation:  By seeds or root division.  Soak seeds 24 hours prior to sowing them.  I germinate my seeds in a damp papertowel in a zip-lock baggie.  Or you can sow them in peaty soil, 1/8" deep.  They need light to germinate, so put under grow lights immediatly.  Keep 70-75 degrees.  Germination takes 10-21 days.  Lowering the temp at night will help germination.
If started early in the year, they will bloom the first season.  I started some in late Dec, and they are blooming now, in July.


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