A potpourri (below) of purple coneflower/Echinacea
purpurea information as a supplement to other articles.
A plant-based page rather than our usual topic-based page. It's
a pivot point, one list of links to ours and
others' articles that involve purple coneflower.
We're just introducing this set of perennial info pages. This
page is in process but Aster's
page is complete. We hope you'll take a look there and comment. Let
us know if the format was useful, share your suggestions, tell us
we shouldn't have this page at all... anything helps.
It's not purple (it's pink; sometimes rosier, occasionally
creamy white). It's not one of the gang of Rudbeckia
called coneflower. It's recently been crossed with about every
other member of its genus (E. paradoxa, E. pallida, E.
tennesseensis) in pursuit of a wider range of color and
perhaps some resistance to the increasingly troublesome virus,
We're going to stick with describing only the straight species,
E. purpurea, long one of our favorite perennials.
It wasn't purple coneflower's fault that gardeners lost it as if
in a plague, in the 1990's. We suspect that was a result of the
popularity of clonal (not-from-seed) variety 'Magnus' with its
bigger, wider open, deeper colored flowers. That plant may have
bright with it a susceptibility to the virus that transferred to
the garden in the seedlings from spontaneous crosses. Who knows? We
know we're watching for and will embrace any really vigorous new
hybrid(s) from the (so far disappointing) new crop of orange,
yellow, double and otherwise fancy Echinaceas.
Meanwhile, if any of our grown-from-local-seed purple
coneflowers show signs of virus, such as sudden black wilting of
stems, we dig that plant and burn it. We hope one day to have in
our own garden or others', the carefree, long blooming drifts of
purple coneflower we used to take for granted.
Below: Newly opened purple coneflower blooms hold their
petals nearly horizontal. As the flower ages the cone grows more
domed and the petals reflex -- they appear to droop.
Read more about purple
coneflower (Echinacea purpurea):
Native plants/endangered list