Echinacea is a genus of 9 species in the family Asteraceae, native to North America. Echinacea, commonly called Coneflower, has attractive and colorful daisy-like flowers, with cone-shaped central disc surrounded by a ring of petal-like rays. The plants have lance-shaped or oval-shaped dark green leaves and tall, slender, hairy stem that can reach up to 120 cm (4 ft) in height. These perennials are easy to maintain once you know the secrets to meeting their needs. They are heat and drought tolerant and will attract birds and pollinators in your garden.
The genus name comes from the Greek word "echinos", which means "sea urchin" or "hedgehog", in reference to the prickly center of the flower.
The common name "Coneflower" comes from the appearance of the flower head, the cone-shaped central disc. This cone is actually composed of hundreds of flowers packed together.
Echinacea symbolizes strength and health.
Interesting facts about Echinacea:
Echinacea is one of the most popular plants in herbalism today. The plant is used widely all over the world for a wide range of illnesses and conditions. Echinacea is commonly used to help combat flu and colds, but it has also been used to treat sore throats, burns, infected wounds, enlarged glands, mumps, measles, toothaches, migraine, poisonous insect bites, bronchial infections, vaginal infections, stomach cramps, diarrhea, muscle pains, rheumatism and arthritis. The plant is also known to its antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties. It is a popular herbal ingredient for boosting immune function and it can improve skin problems such as eczema, acne and psoriasis.
Native Americans used this plant for hundreds of years as an all-purpose remedy. Echinacea became a popular herbal remedy in USA and Europe by the early 1800s.
The flowers are long lasting and great as cut flowers.
Echinacea is a low maintenance plant that will bloom continuously whether you deadhead it or not. They are among the most popular cultivated plants in North America.