This easy to grow hardy deciduous perennial produces purple flowers with orange/black centres in Summer.
The purple petals initially open flat but gradually change to a downward pointing position as the flower ages.
The dark centre consists of the true flowers and becomes a cone as the flower ages, and hence the common name.
When planted en-masse, the purple flowers look quite stunning, especially if contrasted with yellow.
It is ideally suited for the cottage / wildflower garden.
Planting it with spring bulbs.
The bulbs grow and flower when the Echinacea is dormant, filling in the space and providing colour in Spring.
Echinacea purpurea, E. angustifolia and E. pallida are used widely as herbal remedy for Winter colds as well as to strengthen ones immune system.
Echinacea was widely used by native Americans as a medicinal herb.
||In containers for transplanting later.
This seed requires winter chilling before it will germinate.
In early spring, sow thinly on top of moist seed raising mix, cover with a thin layer of sand and seal in a plastic bag and in the refrigerator (not freezer).
Check weekly and remove immediately if there are any signs of germination.
Remove to a light position after 4 weeks.
Alternatively, sow in the autumn.
Cover with glad wrap and leave outside in a light position over the winter.
The cold weather will chill the seeds so that when warmer weather returns in the Spring, the seeds will germinate.
Germination is usually poor, so plant more than you think you'll need.
Some light is required for germination.
Leave the seeds in a bright place, but out of direct sun.