Common purple coneflower.The easiest echinacea to grow — germinates without stratification. Vigorous plants with large, purple-petaled flowers. Fibrous roots are easy to harvest (other species have taproots). Attracts and is a food source for bees. Also known as purple coneflower and eastern purple coneflower. Normally grown for 3–4 years for harvest of sizeable roots. Perennial in Zones 3–10. Ht. 24–36". Avg. 7,700 seeds/oz. Packet: 200 seeds.
DAYS TO GERMINATION: 10-15 days at 65-70°F (18-21°C).
SOWING: Transplant (recommended): Sow 8-10 weeks before planting outside. Transplant into cell packs or larger containers after the first true leaves appear, 30-40 days after sowing the seed. Harden off and transplant outside in late spring or early summer.
Direct seed: Sow in spring when soil is warm, 65°F (18°C). Sow in groups of 3-4 seeds, 1/8" deep. Thin to one plant. Sow in the fall to allow the oscillating temperatures and natural rain to stimulate germination.
LIGHT PREFERENCE: Sun. Will tolerate partial shade.
SOIL REQUIREMENTS: Average, well-drained soil.
PLANT SPACING: 18-24". Division is necessary only when the plants appear crowded.
HARDINESS ZONES: Zones 3-10.
HARVEST: Fresh: For harvesting the flower, harvest when the petals are expanding. For harvesting the cone, harvest when the cone is raised and has turned golden.
Dried: Harvest when the cone is raised and has turned golden. Petals strip most easily at this point. After removing petals, hang to dry.
USES: Cut flower. Seed heads can be used fresh or dried. For beds, borders, mass, or wildflower plantings.
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Echinacea spp.
ALTERNATE NAMES: Coneflower, purple coneflower, eastern purple coneflower
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