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Echinacea purpurea Purple Coneflower

Edward F. Gilman, Ryan W. Klein, and Gail Hansen


Formerly known as Rudbeckia purpurea, purple coneflower displays wonderful daisy-like, pink flowers on top of strong, hairy stems that stand against the wind and rain. Flowers stand 2 to 4feettall, well above the medium-green foliage. The large flowers have a dark purple center with a variety of outer-flower colors from pink and lavender to purple. Flowers appear in spring and summer in central Florida and in the summer elsewhere in the eastern U.S. There is nothing quite like a purple coneflower in bloom.

Full Form - Echinacea purpurea: Purple Coneflower
Figure 1. Full Form - Echinacea purpurea: Purple Coneflower
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS


Flower - Echinacea purpurea: Purple Coneflower
Figure 2. Flower - Echinacea purpurea: Purple Coneflower
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS

General Information

Scientific name: Echinacea purpurea

Pronunciation: eck-kin-NAY-see-uh pur-PURE-ee-uh

Common name(s): purple coneflower, eastern purple coneflower

Family: Asteraceae

Plant type: herbaceous

USDA hardiness zones: 4 through 10 (Figure 3)

Planting month for zone 7: year round

Planting month for zone 8: year round

Planting month for zone 9: year round

Planting month for zone 10 and 11: year round

Origin: native to Florida

Invasive potential: aggressive, spreading plant

Uses: naturalizing; cut flowers; edging; attracts butterflies; mass planting

Availability: somewhat available, may have to go out of the region to find the plant

Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Figure 3. Shaded area represents potential planting range.


Height: 1 to 3 feet

Spread: 2 to 3 feet

Plant habit: oval; upright

Plant density: moderate

Growth rate: moderate

Texture: coarse


Leaf arrangement: alternate

Leaf type: simple

Leaf margin: serrate

Leaf shape: lanceolate

Leaf venation: pinnate

Leaf type and persistence: deciduous

Leaf blade length: 2 to 4 inches

Leaf color: green

Fall color: no fall color change

Fall characteristic: not showy


Flower color: pink; lavender; purple

Flower characteristic: summer flowering; spring flowering


Fruit shape: unknown

Fruit length: unknown

Fruit cover: unknown

Fruit color: unknown

Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: typically multi-trunked or clumping stems

Current year stem/twig color: green

Current year stem/twig thickness: medium


Light requirement: plant grows in part shade/part sun; plant grows in the shade

Soil tolerances: well-drained; occasionally wet; acidic; slightly alkaline; loam; clay

Drought tolerance: high

Soil salt tolerances: poor

Plant spacing: 18 to 24 inches


Roots: not applicable

Winter interest: no special winter interest

Outstanding plant: plant has outstanding ornamental features and could be planted more

Pest resistance: long-term health usually not affected by pests

Use and Management

The stiff appearance of purple coneflower contrasts well with the softness of other perennials and other fine-textured plants. The plant attracts much attention due to the wonderful flower and makes a nice component in a mixed perennial border. It is especially useful in light shade in summer, where protection from afternoon sun enhances flower and foliage color. It is fairly tolerant of drought in the partial shade, less so in full sun.

Clumps of purple coneflower should be divided every few years to help keep plants blooming. Growers also propagate by root cuttings. Coneflowers with white flowers also exist.

Roots have been used to treat rabies, snakebites, skin diseases, and other ailments.

Pests and Diseases

Purple coneflower can be moderately to severely infested with sweet potato whitefly.

Japanese beetle in northern gardens eat foliage and disfigure plants. Leaf spots can be a problem any place the plant is grown.

Publication #FPS192

Release Date:October 24, 2023

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About this Publication

This document is FPS192, one of a series of the Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Revised October 2023. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

Edward F. Gilman, professor emeritus; Ryan W. Klein, assistant professor, arboriculture; and Gail Hansen, professor, sustainable landscape design; Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


  • Gail Hansen de Chapman