Echinacea purpurea

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Echinacea purpurea
external image 220px-Asteraceae_IMG_7674.JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Plantae
(unranked):
Angiosperms
(unranked):
Eudicots
(unranked):
Asterids
Order:
Asterales
Family:
Asteraceae
Tribe:
Heliantheae
Genus:
Echinacea
Species:
E. purpurea
Binomial name
Echinacea purpurea
(L.) Moench
Synonyms
Brauneria purpurea (L.) Britt.Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench var. arkansana Steyerm.Rudbeckia purpurea L.
Echinacea purpurea (Eastern purple coneflower or Purple coneflower) is a species of flowering plant in the genus Echinacea.[1[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echinacea_purpurea#cite_note-Plants_for_a_future-0|]]] Its cone-shaped flowering heads are usually, but not always purple.[2[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echinacea_purpurea#cite_note-Zimmerman-1|]]] It is native to eastern North America[1[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echinacea_purpurea#cite_note-Plants_for_a_future-0|]]] and present to some extent in the wild in much of the eastern, southeastern and midwest United States.[3[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echinacea_purpurea#cite_note-PLANTS-2|]]] It is also grown as an ornamental plant, and numerous cultivars have been developed for flower quality and plant form.[2[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echinacea_purpurea#cite_note-Zimmerman-1|]]]

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[edit] Description

This perennial flowering plant is 1.2 m tall and 0.5 m wide at maturity. Depending on the climate, it begins to bloom in late May or early July. Its individual flowers (florets) within the flower head are hermaphroditic, having both male and female organs on each flower. It is pollinated by butterflies and bees. Its habitats include dry open woods, prairies and barrens, as well as cultivated beds. Although the plant prefers loamy or sandy, well-drained soils, it is little affected by the soil's pH. Unable to grow in the shade, E. purpurea thrives in either dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought, once established.

[edit] Cultivation

E. purpurea can be propagated either vegetatively or from seeds.[1[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echinacea_purpurea#cite_note-Plants_for_a_future-0|]]] Useful vegetative techniques include division, root cuttings, and basal cuttings. Clumps can be divided, or broken into smaller bunches, which is normally done in the spring or autumn. Cuttings made from roots that are "pencil-sized" will develop into plants when started in late autumn or early winter.[2[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echinacea_purpurea#cite_note-Zimmerman-1|]]] Cuttings of basal shoots in the spring may be rooted when treated with rooting hormones.
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Plants raised outdoors
Seed germination occurs best with daily temperature fluctuations[1[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echinacea_purpurea#cite_note-Plants_for_a_future-0|]]] or after stratification,[4[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echinacea_purpurea#cite_note-3|]]] which help to end dormancy. Seeds may be started indoors in advance of the growing season or outdoors after the growing season has started.