What do you do with a Purple Cone Flower?
If you are lucky enough to live in the
central part of the US where Purple Cone Flower thrives, it can be
a field. It also looks great in a mixed perennial border where it
makes a stunning display in mid summer when other pink flowers have
started to wane. It is well behaved enough to use as a potted plant
also. Like many perennials, Purple Cone Flowers should be lifted and divided
after blooming when the plant's crown becomes to crowded. Usually this
occurs in the third or fourth year; this is also when roots can be
harvested for medicinal use. Most Purple Cone Flower cultivated for medicinal use is
Echinacea purpurea and both the root and the above ground parts are used. There are nine known species and it
is suspected that all
have similar medical properties, but the research is ongoing and no
conclusions have yet been determined.
Purple Cone Flower likes hot humid summers
and full sun or light shade. Drainage is important to keep the crowns from
rotting. Sometimes deadheading the first flush of flowers can force a
smaller second bloom.
Purple Cone Flower does well as a
fresh cut flower. Dried, the cone adds interest to wreaths and bouquets.
The festive pink flower petals can add visual appeal to salads or
And, if beauty and utility are not enough to get
you to try a Purple Cone Flower or two, then consider that in the book, Garden
Butterflies of North America, Rick Mikula lists Echinacea as one of the top twelve
perennials for attracting butterflies.