Purple Coneflower is a heat-tolerant flower, a native perennial that grows wild from Ohio to Iowa and south to Louisiana and Georgia. Prickly, cone-shaped heads of bronze-brown are surrounded by rose-purple or white petals (ray flowers) on stout stalks from two to four feet high. Leaves are alternate, simple, and coarse.
How to grow: Coneflowers are sturdy and easy to grow in almost any well-drained garden soil in full sun. If soil is too good, the flowers may need staking.
Propagation: By division in spring or from seed.
Uses: Coneflowers are excellent for the back of a small garden border and are a welcome addition to a wildflower garden.
Related species: Echinacea pallida is a similar wildflower species from the Midwest with thinner, more graceful, pale pink petals.
Related varieties: White Lustre and White Swan are two varieties with white flowers; Bright Star bears maroon flowers; and Magnus has rosy purple petals with a dark disk.
Scientific name: Echinacea purpurea