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Photo by Bob Gress

Common Name: Purple-coneflower

Scientific Name: Echinacea angustifolia

Family: Aster

Longevity: Perennial

Height: 1 - 2 feet

Bloom Period: June, July


Description: One to several stout, upright stems are covered with rough, spreading hairs. Leaf blades are roughly hairy with three prominent, parallel veins. Flower heads are solitary. Ray petals are 1― inches long, purplish-pink and spreading with a dark spiny “cone” in the center.

Comments: This plant was used by the Plains Indians for medicinal purposes. The rootstock is known for its pain-reducing properties resulting in the common name, “toothache plant.” This anesthetic quality was helpful with sore throat, stomach cramps, snakebite and all types of wounds. Recent studies conclude the plant produces an anti-inflammatory effect and stimulates the immune system. Purple-coneflower is favored by butterflies. It grows in the western three-quarters of Kansas on dry, upland prairies in rocky shallow soil. Pale Coneflower is a similar species with pale-pink, drooping petals.

Photo by Jim Mason