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Echinacea root is gaining a wide reputation as a blood purifier that increases the immune system's ability to fight infections. It is also thought to inhibit certain viruses such as flu and herpes. Historically, Native Americans used Echinacea as an analgesic for treating toothaches and as an immune system stimulant for the treatment of colds and sore throats.
This prairie native has rose-purple 4-inch blooms with downward pointing petals and a prominent orange-tipped cone. It blooms from July-September and is a long lasting cut-flower. Echinacea is a tough, heat tolerant, easy to grow 3-foot perennial. A favorite flower of the Monarch butterfly. Winter hardy to zone 3.
Sow seed in cell packs or flats, press into soil and cover lightly. Kept at 70°F., germination averages 21-28 days. Can direct sow into prepared seed beds ⅛ inch deep in groups of 3-4 seeds, spaced 18-24 inches apart. Thin to the strongest plant. See Yellow Coneflower for its unique planting instructions.
Growing Echinacea: Full sun. Echinacea will tolerate some drought once established; perform better with regular water. Purple Coneflowers attract bees, butterflies, and beneficial insects and are long-lasting cut. Plants are deer resistant.