Echinacea, Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
Coneflower Echinacea is a perennial herb with eye catching purple flowers that give the plant it's name. It is a great plant for attracting pollinating insects like bees and butterflies!
The plant is both a beautiful ornamental as well as a respected and revered medicinal herb. Generally both the flowers and leaves are harvested when plants first begin to bloom. The roots as well can be harvested in the fall for medicinal purpose. It contains polysaccahrides, glycoproteins, and caffeic acid analogues that help promote an overall immune system boosting effect. Like similar plants in it's family, the Purple Coneflower can be used externally as a poultice for bug bites, sunburn, and skin rashes.
A member of the Daisy family of plants, Echinacea purpurea is native to North America, specifically the Eastern portion of the continent along the Appalachian Mountain range, in the Ozarks, and in the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys respectively. Purple cone flower is often found nestled in dry open woods, prairies, and barren fields. This is a eye catching native plant that is great for any gardens here on the Eastern seaboard. Grow your own and enjoy the natural beauty of America's wild flora at home!