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TREES & Plants

Purple Coneflower

Purple coneflower is a native wildflower of Illinois and the Chicago Region.  It offers color in the middle of summer and cones full of seeds for birds during winter.  This wildflower will self sow and naturalize.

Botanical name: 
Echinacea purpurea
All Common Names: 
Purple Coneflower, Broad-Leaved Purple Coneflower
Family (English): 
Composite, Sunflower, Aster, Daisy
Family (Botanic): 
Asteraceae
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Perennial
Foliage: 
  • Deciduous (foliage falls off)
Native Locale: 
  • Chicago area
  • Illinois
  • North America
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 3
  • Zone 4
  • Zone 5
  • Zone 6
  • Zone 7
  • Zone 8
Growth Rate: 
  • Fast
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Partial sun (4-6 hrs direct light daily)
Tolerances: 
  • Dry sites
  • Occasional drought
Soil Preference: 
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Purple
Size Range: 
  • Large plant (more than 24 inches)
  • Medium plant (12-24 inches)
Shape or Form: 
  • Upright
Landscape Uses: 
  • Massing
  • Mixed border
  • Container
Time of Year: 
  • Mid summer
  • Late summer
More Information: 

Size

2 to 4 feet high and 1 to 2 feet wide.

Tree & Plant Care

Tolerant of heat and drought once established.
Cut back completely in spring before new growth begins.

Disease, pests and problems

Late season leaf spots and aster yellows are possible disease problems.

Native geographic location and habitat

C-Value: 3
Found in prairies, savannas and along the edges of woodlands.

Attracts birds & butterflies

Several species of butterflies visit the flowers.
Goldfinches eat the seeds.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Simple leaves may be alternate or opposite; medium green; up to 6 inches long (leaves longer on lower part of the plant and shorter near the top); toothed edge.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Daisy-like, purple flowers with drooping (reflexed) petals; flowers in mid-summer.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

The dried center or 'cone' of the flower is the seed pod.