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Purple coneflower

Purple coneflower in full flower.

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):


Tree or Plant Type:

  • Perennial

Native Locale:

  • Chicago area,
  • Illinois,
  • North America

Landscape Uses:

  • Container,
  • Massing,
  • Mixed border

Size Range:

  • Large plant (more than 24 inches),
  • Medium plant (12-24 inches)

Light Exposure:

  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 3,
  • Zone 4,
  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7,
  • Zone 8

Soil Preference:

  • Moist, well-drained soil


  • Dry sites,
  • Occasional drought

Seasons of Interest:

  • midsummer,
  • late summer

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • Purple

Shape or Form:

  • Upright

Growth Rate:

  • Fast

More Information:


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.



Location of Echinacea purpurea (Purple coneflower) at the Arboretum