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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

General: Sunflower family (Asteraceae). Purple coneflower is a perennial herb 1.5-6 dm (0.5-2 ft) tall, with a woody taproot. The plant has one to several rough-hairy stems, mostly unbranched. Leaves are alternate, simple, and narrowly lance-shaped 5-30 cm (2-12 in) long, 1.5-4 cm (0.5-1.5 in) wide, with entire margins. Flowers look like lavender sunflowers with the heads 4-7.5 cm wide (1.5-3 in) wide, at the ends of long stalks. Flowers bloom from June to July. Ray flowers are 2-4 cm (0.75-1.5 in) long, spreading or drooping, light pink to pale purple. The disk flowers are 5-lobed, brownish-purple, and situated among stiff bracts. Pollen grains are yellow. Fruits are small, dark, 4-angled achenes.

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Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Alternative names

Kansas snakeroot, echinacea, snakeroot, narrow-leaved purple coneflower, scurvy root, comb flower, black susans, and hedge hog

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Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Global Range: Global range is based on E. angustifolia var. angustifolia; var. strigosa is quite rare if not extinct.

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States or Provinces

(key to state/province abbreviations)
UNITED STATES
CO IL IA KS KY LA MN MO
MT NE NM ND OK SD TX WY

CANADA
AB MB SK

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Regional Distribution in the Western United States

More info on this topic.

This species can be found in the following regions of the western United States (according to the Bureau of Land Management classification of Physiographic Regions of the western United States):

BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS [13]:

14 Great Plains
  • 13. Bernard, Stephen R.; Brown, Kenneth F. 1977. Distribution of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians by BLM physiographic regions and A.W. Kuchler's associations for the eleven western states. Tech. Note 301. Denver, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 169 p. [434]

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Purple coneflower is most commonly associated with the Great Plains region [30,45]. Its range extends from Texas into Canada and from the Rocky Mountains into Kentucky. Distribution of E. a. var. angustifolia encompasses the entire range of purple coneflower. E. a. var. strigosa only occurs in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Louisiana. A distributional map for both varieties can be found on the Plants database.
  • 45. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 30. Dorn, Robert D. 1977. Flora of the Black Hills. [Place of publication unknown]: Robert D. Dorn and Jane L. Dorn. 377 p. [820]

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The purple coneflower grows in open rocky prairies and plains. It is found primarily in the Great Plains, east of the Rocky Mountains from Texas to Montana and Saskatchewan, to eastern Oklahoma, western Iowa, and western Minnesota. For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.

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USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

More info for the terms: forb, presence

This description provides characteristics that may be relevant to fire ecology, and is not meant for identification. Keys for identification are available [8,30,45,54,70].

Purple coneflower is a native, warm season perennial forb that can reach heights of 2.5 feet (76 cm). Seed heads are found on 2 to 5 stems which project 6 to 10 inches (15-25 cm) above the leaves [54]. Purple coneflower supports alternate leaves which are oblong to lance-shaped with 3 to 5 nerves [59]. Basal leaves are 2.0 to 10.6 inches (5-27 cm) in length and 0.4 to 1.6 inches (1-4 cm) wide. Lower cauline leaves are 1.6 to 5.9 inches (4-15 cm) in length and 0.2 to 1.5 inches (0.5-3.8 cm) wide. Upper cauline leaves lack a petiole and are 0.6 to 1.2 inches (1.5-3 cm) high and 0.6 to 1.0 inches (1.5-2.5 cm) wide [70]. Short, stiff hairs encompass both the leaves and stems of purple coneflower [54]. Flowers are 0.8 to 1.6 inches (2-4 cm) long and 0.16 to 0.20 inch (4-5 mm) wide [59].

Plants located in the high plains of Texas and north into Canada are characterized by low heights and flowers that are equal in length or shorter than the width of the disk. As you travel eastward in its range, purple coneflower becomes progressively taller with longer rays [70].

Purple coneflower has a very fragile tap root [7] which is "large" [54] and extends 4.7 to 6.5 feet (1.5-2 m) into the soil [8]. During times of water stress, root growth is emphasized over foliar development and signs of chlorosis may be evident [32]. In a greenhouse study, it was found that purple coneflower responds favorably to the presence of mycorrhizae, experiencing a significant (P≤0.001) increase in mean dry mass weight [111].

Three populations of purple coneflower tested for allelopathic properties in a greenhouse setting displayed adverse effects on 2 potential competitors (switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis)) [105]. Further studies are needed to determine allelopathic properties of purple coneflower in a field setting.

  • 8. Bare, Janet E. 1979. Wildflowers and weeds of Kansas. Lawrence, KS: The Regents Press of Kansas. 509 p. [3801]
  • 7. Bantle, Myles; Carrier, D. Julie; Crowe, Trever. 2000. Development of guidelines for harvesting Echinacea angustifolia roots. Final Report: ADF Project 19990067. Regina, SK: Saskatchewan Agriculture and Foods, Agriculture Development Fund. 122 p. [49093]
  • 32. Eddleman, Lee E. 1979. Regeneration strategies of mixed-prairie plants. In: Goodin, J. R.; Northington, D. K., eds. Arid land plant resources: Proceedings of the international arid lands conference on plant resources; 1979 July; Lubbock, TX. Lubbock, TX: Texas Tech University, International Center for Arid and Semi-Arid Land Studies: 684-698. [845]
  • 45. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 54. Johnson, James R.; Nichols, James T. 1970. Plants of South Dakota grasslands: A photographic study. Bull. 566. Brookings, SD: South Dakota State University, Agricultural Experiment Station. 163 p. [18500]
  • 59. Kindscher, Kelly. 1989. Ethnobotany of purple coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia, Asteraceae) and other Echinacea species. Economic Botany. 43(4): 498-507. [15615]
  • 70. McGregor, Ronald L. 1968. The taxonomy of the genus Echinacea (Compositae). University of Kansas Science Bulletin. 48(4): 113-142. [15614]
  • 105. Viles, A. L.; Reese, R. N. 1996. Allelopathic potential of Echinacea angustifolia D.C. Environmental and Experimental Botany. 36(1): 39-43. [49187]
  • 111. Wilson, Gail W. T.; Hartnett, David C. 1998. Interspecific variation in plant responses to mycorrhizal colonization in tallgrass prairie. American Journal of Botany. 85(12): 1732-1738. [30311]
  • 30. Dorn, Robert D. 1977. Flora of the Black Hills. [Place of publication unknown]: Robert D. Dorn and Jane L. Dorn. 377 p. [820]

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Description

Plants to 70 cm (roots usually fusiform, ± branched). Herbage moderately to densely hairy (induments relatively harsh, hairs spreading, ca. 1–2 mm). Stems mostly green to purplish. Basal leaves: petioles 2–12 cm; blades (1-), 3-, or (5-)nerved, elliptic to lanceolate, 7–30 × 0.5–2.5(–4) cm, bases cuneate to attenuate, margins entire (usually ciliate). Peduncles 10–30 cm. Phyllaries lanceolate to ovate, 6–12 × 1–2.5 mm. Receptacles: paleae 9–14 mm, tips purple, straight, sharp-pointed. Ray corollas pink to purplish, laminae reflexed, 15–40 × 5–8 mm, sparsely hairy abaxially. Discs conic to hemispheric, 15–30 × 20–35 mm. Disc corollas 5–7+ mm, lobes usually purple. Cypselae often bicolored, tan proximally, dark brown banded distally, 4–5 mm, faces ± smooth, usually glabrous; pappi to ca. 1 mm (major teeth 0–4). 2n = 22, 44.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: Dry mixed and tall grass prairies, rocky barrens and limestone bluffs. Full sun.

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Habitat characteristics

More info for the term: mesic

Purple coneflower is most often associated with the Great Plains region [2,16]. It grows primarily in open, rocky prairies and plains [45], but also occurs in drainages and depressions [28]. It has been found in scattered and open ponderosa pine stands [102], cedar glades [11], and along fenced roadsides devoid of grazing pressures [33].

Climate: Purple coneflower occurs on mesic sites [28] with average annual precipitation ranging from a low of 15.9 inches (404 mm) in southeastern North Dakota [25] to a high of 40.0 inches (1,016 mm) in central Texas [2]. A gauging station in southeastern North Dakota recorded an average temperature of 41.1 ºF (5.1 ºC) with low and high temperatures of 6.3 ºF (14.3 ºC) and 71.2 ºF (21.8 ºC), respectively [77].

Soils: Purple coneflower tolerates a variety of soil types throughout its range.

State Soil description
Kansas alkaline soils [65]
soils with a low percentage of organic matter [67]
Minnesota dry, sandy exposed sites [23]
North Dakota glacial till plains [25,77]
fluvial mediums capped by aeolian sand and silt [28]
Nebraska silty loess derived soils [17,20]
shallow range sites containing lime [85]
Texas dark, calcareous clays and gray, sandy loams [2]
  • 2. Anderson, Elizabeth S. 1992. Reconstructed prairie as an educational tool. In: Smith, Daryl D.; Jacobs, Carol A., eds. Recapturing a vanishing heritage: Proceedings, 12th North American prairie conference; 1990 August 5-9; Cedar Falls, IA. Cedar Falls, IA: University of Northern Iowa: 209-211. [24742]
  • 11. Baskin, Jerry M.; Baskin, Carol C. 1978. Plant ecology of cedar glades in the Big Barren region of Kentucky. Rhodora. 80: 545-557. [45322]
  • 16. Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Whitman, Warren C. 1989. Promising native forbs for seeding on mine spoils. In: Walker, D. G.; Powter, C. B.; Pole, M. W., compilers. Proceedings of the conference: Reclamation, a global perspective; 1989 August 27-31; Calgary, AB. Edmonton, AB: Alberta Land Conservation and Reclamation Council: 255-262. [14354]
  • 17. Boettcher, Judith F.; Bragg, Thomas B. 1989. Tallgrass prairie remnants of eastern Nebraska. In: Bragg, Thomas B.; Stubbendieck, James, eds. Prairie pioneers: ecology, history and culture: Proceedings, 11th North American prairie conference; 1988 August 7-11; Lincoln, NE. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska: 1-7. [14008]
  • 20. Bragg, Thomas B.; Sutherland, David M. 1989. Establishing warm-season grasses and forbs using herbicides and mowing. In: Bragg, Thomas B.; Stubbendieck, James, eds. Prairie pioneers: ecology, history and culture: Proceedings, 11th North American prairie conference; 1988 August 7-11; Lincoln, NE. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska: 81-89. [14023]
  • 23. Buell, Murray F.; Facey, Vera. 1960. Forest-prairie transition west of Itasca Park, Minnesota. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 87(1): 46-58. [14171]
  • 25. Callow, J. Michael; Kantrud, Harold A.; Higgins, Kenneth F. 1992. First flowering dates and flowering periods of prairie plants at Woodworth, North Dakota. Prairie Naturalist. 24(2): 57-64. [20450]
  • 28. Clambey, Gary K. 1992. Ecological aspects of the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, west-central North Dakota. In: Smith, Daryl D.; Jacobs, Carol A., eds. Recapturing a vanishing heritage: Proceedings, 12th North American prairie conference; 1990 August 5-9; Cedar Falls, IA. Cedar Falls, IA: University of Northern Iowa: 75-78. [24719]
  • 33. Eddy, Thomas A. 1992. The role of prairie road borders as refugia for herbaceous plants in the central Flint Hills grazing region of Kansas. In: Smith, Daryl D.; Jacobs, Carol A., eds. Recapturing a vanishing heritage: Proceedings, 12th North American prairie conference; 1990 August 5-9; Cedar Falls, IA. Cedar Falls, IA: University of Northern Iowa: 161-163. [24735]
  • 45. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 65. Lauver, Chris L.; Kindscher, Kelly; Faber-Langendoen, Don; Schneider, Rick. 1999. A classification of the natural vegetation of Kansas. The Southwestern Naturalist. 44(4): 421-443. [38847]
  • 67. Lippert, Robert D.; Hopkins, Harold H. 1950. Study of viable seeds in various habitats in mixed prairie. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science. 53(3): 355-364. [1461]
  • 77. Olson, Wendell W. 1975. Effects of controlled burning on grassland within the Tewaukon National Wildlife Refuge. Fargo, ND: North Dakota University of Agriculture and Applied Science. 137 p. Thesis. [15252]
  • 85. Rothenberger, Steven J. 1995. Plant community analysis of Schultz Prairie, Webster County, Nebraska. In: Hartnett, David C., ed. Prairie biodiversity: Proceedings, 14th North American prairie conference; 1994 July 12-16; Manhattan, KS. Manhattan, KS: Kansas State University: 35-41. [28225]
  • 102. Tolstead, W. L. 1947. Woodlands in northwestern Nebraska. Ecology. 28(2): 180-188. [18407]

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Key Plant Community Associations

More info for the terms: graminoid, heath, prescribed fire, tree

Purple coneflower is found throughout a range of habitat types, predominantly in the Great Plains region.
It is not recognized as a dominant species, but can be found with the following associates:

Grasses: Purple coneflower is frequently associated with the following graminoid species: little bluestem
(Schizachyrium scoparium), big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii var. gerardii),
indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans), Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis),
sideoats grama (B. curtipendula), needle-and-thread grass (Hesperostipa comata), and
western wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii) [2,4,11,17,18,19,21,23,28,32,39,48,67,69,73,75,77,80,81,85,89,98,100,102,104,114].

Shrubs and forbs: In Nebraska, species commonly found with purple coneflower include flowering spurge
(Euphorbia corollata), downy phlox (Phlox pilosa), wholeleaf rosinweed (Silphium integrifolium),
and white prairieclover (Dalea candida) [17]. In Kansas, it can be found alongside prairie bundleflower
(Desmanthus illinoensis), compassplant (S. laciniatum) [33], dotted blazing star
(Liatris punctata), and desert princesplume (Stanleya pinnata) [65]. In
North Dakota, it occurs with western snowberry (Symphoricarpos occidentalis),
heath aster (Aster ericoides var. ericoides), Louisiana sagewort (Artemisia ludoviciana) [28],
western yarrow (Achillea millefolium), sagewort wormwood (Artemisia campestris), and scarlet beeblossom
(Gaura coccinea) [16].
Trees: Purple coneflower has been observed in scattered and open interior
ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa var. scopulorum)
stands in Nebraska [102] and sand shinnery oak (Quercus havardii)
communities in Oklahoma [18]. In Illinois, purple coneflower was present
near a forest of post oak (Q. stellata), chinquapin oak (Q.
muehlenbergii), and eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana),
populating the area after tree removal and prescribed fire [73].
  • 2. Anderson, Elizabeth S. 1992. Reconstructed prairie as an educational tool. In: Smith, Daryl D.; Jacobs, Carol A., eds. Recapturing a vanishing heritage: Proceedings, 12th North American prairie conference; 1990 August 5-9; Cedar Falls, IA. Cedar Falls, IA: University of Northern Iowa: 209-211. [24742]
  • 4. Archer, Steven R. 1983. Plant community structure, competitive interactions and water relations as influenced by herbivores. Fort Collins, CO: Colorado State University. 114 p. Dissertation. [338]
  • 11. Baskin, Jerry M.; Baskin, Carol C. 1978. Plant ecology of cedar glades in the Big Barren region of Kentucky. Rhodora. 80: 545-557. [45322]
  • 16. Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Whitman, Warren C. 1989. Promising native forbs for seeding on mine spoils. In: Walker, D. G.; Powter, C. B.; Pole, M. W., compilers. Proceedings of the conference: Reclamation, a global perspective; 1989 August 27-31; Calgary, AB. Edmonton, AB: Alberta Land Conservation and Reclamation Council: 255-262. [14354]
  • 17. Boettcher, Judith F.; Bragg, Thomas B. 1989. Tallgrass prairie remnants of eastern Nebraska. In: Bragg, Thomas B.; Stubbendieck, James, eds. Prairie pioneers: ecology, history and culture: Proceedings, 11th North American prairie conference; 1988 August 7-11; Lincoln, NE. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska: 1-7. [14008]
  • 18. Boyd, Chad S.; Bidwell, Terrence G. 2002. Effects of prescribed fire on shinnery oak (Quercus havardii) plant communities in western Oklahoma. Restoration Ecology. 10(2): 324-333. [42260]
  • 19. Bragg, Thomas B. 1988. Prairie transplants: preserving ecological diversity. In: Davis, Arnold; Stanford, Geoffrey, eds. The prairie: roots of our culture; foundation of our economy: Proceedings, 10th North American prairie conference; 1986 June 22-26; Denton, TX. Dallas, TX: Native Prairie Association of Texas: 09.07: 1-6. [25608]
  • 21. Bromley, Peter T. 1977. Aspects of the behavioural ecology and sociobiology of the pronghorn (Antilocapra americana). Calgary, AB: University of Calgary. 370 p. Dissertation. [8088]
  • 23. Buell, Murray F.; Facey, Vera. 1960. Forest-prairie transition west of Itasca Park, Minnesota. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 87(1): 46-58. [14171]
  • 28. Clambey, Gary K. 1992. Ecological aspects of the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, west-central North Dakota. In: Smith, Daryl D.; Jacobs, Carol A., eds. Recapturing a vanishing heritage: Proceedings, 12th North American prairie conference; 1990 August 5-9; Cedar Falls, IA. Cedar Falls, IA: University of Northern Iowa: 75-78. [24719]
  • 32. Eddleman, Lee E. 1979. Regeneration strategies of mixed-prairie plants. In: Goodin, J. R.; Northington, D. K., eds. Arid land plant resources: Proceedings of the international arid lands conference on plant resources; 1979 July; Lubbock, TX. Lubbock, TX: Texas Tech University, International Center for Arid and Semi-Arid Land Studies: 684-698. [845]
  • 33. Eddy, Thomas A. 1992. The role of prairie road borders as refugia for herbaceous plants in the central Flint Hills grazing region of Kansas. In: Smith, Daryl D.; Jacobs, Carol A., eds. Recapturing a vanishing heritage: Proceedings, 12th North American prairie conference; 1990 August 5-9; Cedar Falls, IA. Cedar Falls, IA: University of Northern Iowa: 161-163. [24735]
  • 48. Higgins, Jeremy J.; Larson, Gary E.; Higgins, Kenneth F. 2001. Floristic comparisons of tallgrass prairie remnants managed by different land stewardships in eastern South Dakota. In: Bernstein, Neil P.; Ostrander, Laura J., eds. Seeds for the future; roots of the past: Proceedings of the 17th North American prairie conference; 2000 July 16-20; Mason City, IA. Mason City, IA: North Iowa Community College: 21-31. [46489]
  • 65. Lauver, Chris L.; Kindscher, Kelly; Faber-Langendoen, Don; Schneider, Rick. 1999. A classification of the natural vegetation of Kansas. The Southwestern Naturalist. 44(4): 421-443. [38847]
  • 67. Lippert, Robert D.; Hopkins, Harold H. 1950. Study of viable seeds in various habitats in mixed prairie. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science. 53(3): 355-364. [1461]
  • 69. McAllister, Christine A.; Knapp, Alan K.; Maragni, Laura A. 1998. Is leaf-level photosynthesis related to plant success in a highly productive grassland? Oecologia. 117(1-2): 40-46. [33085]
  • 73. Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 1993. Simpson Township Barrens, Illinois. Natural History. 102(4): 24-27. [20449]
  • 75. Nagel, Harold G. 1995. Vegetative changes during 17 years of succession on Willa Cather Prairie in Nebraska. In: Hartnett, David C., ed. Prairie biodiversity: Proceedings, 14th North American prairie conference; 1994 July 12-16; Manhattan, KS. Manhattan, KS: Kansas State University: 25-30. [28223]
  • 77. Olson, Wendell W. 1975. Effects of controlled burning on grassland within the Tewaukon National Wildlife Refuge. Fargo, ND: North Dakota University of Agriculture and Applied Science. 137 p. Thesis. [15252]
  • 80. Piper, Jon K.; Gernes, Mark C. 1989. Vegetation dynamics of three tallgrass prairie sites. In: Bragg, Thomas B.; Stubbendieck, James, eds. Prairie pioneers: ecology, history and culture: Proceedings, 11th North American prairie conference; 1988 August 7-11; Lincoln, NE. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska: 9-14. [14011]
  • 81. Platt, Dwight R. 1988. Development and survival of plants in a prairie reconstruction at Kauffman Museum in south central Kansas. In: Davis, Arnold; Stanford, Geoffrey, eds. The prairie: roots of our culture; foundation of our economy: Proceedings, 10th North American prairie conference; 1986 June 22-26; Denton, TX. Dallas, TX: Native Prairie Association of Texas: 09.02: 1-5. [25603]
  • 85. Rothenberger, Steven J. 1995. Plant community analysis of Schultz Prairie, Webster County, Nebraska. In: Hartnett, David C., ed. Prairie biodiversity: Proceedings, 14th North American prairie conference; 1994 July 12-16; Manhattan, KS. Manhattan, KS: Kansas State University: 35-41. [28225]
  • 89. Sarvis, J. T. 1941. Grazing investigations on the Northern Great Plains. Bull. 307. Fargo, ND: North Dakota Experiment Station. 110 p. In cooperation with: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Northern Great Plains Field Station. [10853]
  • 98. Steigman, Kenneth L.; Ovenden, Lynn. 1988. Transplanting tallgrass prairie with a sodcutter. In: Davis, Arnold; Stanford, Geoffrey, eds. The prairie: roots of our culture; foundation of our economy: Proceedings, 10th North American prairie conference; 1986 June 22-26; Denton, TX. Dallas, TX: Native Prairie Association of Texas: 09.01: 1-2. [25602]
  • 100. Stockrahm, Donna M. Bruns; Olson, Theresa Ebbenga; Harper, Elizabeth K. 1993. Plant species in black-tailed prairie dog towns in Billings County, North Dakota. Prairie Naturalist. 25(2): 173-183. [23167]
  • 102. Tolstead, W. L. 1947. Woodlands in northwestern Nebraska. Ecology. 28(2): 180-188. [18407]
  • 104. Umbanhowar, Charles E., Jr. 1995. Revegetation of earthen mounds along a topographic-productivity gradient in a northern mixed prairie. Journal of Vegetation Science. 6(5): 637-646. [27167]
  • 114. Zimmerman, Gregory M. 1981. Effects of fire upon selected plant communities in the Little Missouri Badlands. Fargo, ND: North Dakota State University. 60 p. Thesis. [5121]
  • 39. Fertig, Walter, compiler. 2001. The potential vascular plant flora of Devils Tower National Monument, [Online]. In: Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, University of Wyoming (Producer). Available: http://uwadmnweb.uwyo.edu/wyndd/Reports/pdf_fertig/Fertig_01_DevilsTower_PlantList.pdf [2005, April 29]. [43137]

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Habitat: Rangeland Cover Types

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following Rangeland Cover Types (as classified by the Society for Range Management, SRM):

More info for the term: cover

SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES [94]:


310 Needle-and-thread-blue grama

606 Wheatgrass-bluestem-needlegrass

607 Wheatgrass-needlegrass

608 Wheatgrass-grama-needlegrass

609 Wheatgrass-grama

610 Wheatgrass

611 Blue grama-buffalo grass

612 Sagebrush-grass

614 Crested wheatgrass

704 Blue grama-western wheatgrass

706 Blue grama-sideoats grama

708 Bluestem-dropseed

709 Bluestem-grama

710 Bluestem prairie

714 Grama-bluestem

715 Grama-buffalo grass

730 Sand shinnery oak

733 Juniper-oak

802 Missouri prairie
  • 94. Shiflet, Thomas N., ed. 1994. Rangeland cover types of the United States. Denver, CO: Society for Range Management. 152 p. [23362]

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Habitat: Cover Types

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):

More info for the term: cover

SAF COVER TYPES [38]:

40 Post oak-blackjack oak

46 Eastern redcedar
  • 38. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905]

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Habitat: Plant Associations

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):

KUCHLER [62] PLANT ASSOCIATIONS:


K016 Eastern ponderosa forest

K066 Wheatgrass-needlegrass

K067 Wheatgrass-bluestem-needlegrass

K068 Wheatgrass-grama-buffalo grass

K069 Bluestem-grama prairie

K081 Oak savanna

K083 Cedar glades
  • 62. Kuchler, A. W. 1964. United States [Potential natural vegetation of the conterminous United States]. Special Publication No. 36. New York: American Geographical Society. 1:3,168,000; colored. [3455]

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Habitat: Ecosystem

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):

ECOSYSTEMS [43]:

FRES15 Oak-hickory

FRES21 Ponderosa pine

FRES31 Shinnery

FRES38 Plains grasslands

FRES39 Prairie
  • 43. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; Lewis, Mont E.; Smith, Dixie R. 1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p. [998]

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Dispersal

Establishment

Native Echinacea species are dwindling in the wild from loss of habitat and over-harvesting. Echinacea angustifolia is threatened on one hand by conversion of native habitat, and on the other hand by heavy harvesting to serve the herbal pharmaceutical industry. It takes three to four years for roots to reach harvestable size (Foster 1991). Yields for cultivated, dried roots of three-year-old Echinacea purpurea grown at Trout Lake, Washington, were 131 kg/ha (1,200 lbs/acre) (Foster 1991). According to Richo Cech (1995), a mature two-year old E. purpurea plant yields 2.25 pounds of fresh flowering aerial portions and 0.5 pounds of fresh root per plant. Yield for the purple coneflower is not available, but probably would be less because the plant is smaller.

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USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Associations

Flower-Visiting Insects of Echinacea angustifolia in Illinois

Echinacea angustifolia (Prairie Purple Coneflower)
(bees suck nectar or collect pollen, flies suck nectar or feed on pollen, beetles feed on pollen, while other insects suck nectar; observations are from Wist)

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera; Apidae (Bombini): Bombus fervida, Bombus nevadensis, Bombus ternarius fq, Bombus vagans; Megachilidae (Megachilini): Megachile latimanus, Megachile pugnatus, Megachile rotundata

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae: Augochlora sp.

Flies
Syrphidae: Eristalis tenax, Toxomerus spp.; Bombyliidae: Exoprosopa sp., Systoechus vulgaris fq; Muscidae: Unidentified spp.

Butterflies
Nymphalidae: Vanessa cardui sn, Pieridae: Phoebis sennae sn

Beetles
Cleridae: Trichodes nutalli fp; Meloidae: Epicauta ferruginea fp fq

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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300

Comments: E. angustifolia var. angustifolia was historically abundant, secure and widespread throughout the Great Plains. Although in decline from digging and presently spotty in distribution, there are still many occurrences. Occurrences of this variety account for the global estimate of element occurrences. E. angustifolia var. strigosa is an endemic with an historically narrow range. At present, there are few, if any, known occurrences of this other variety.

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General Ecology

Fire Management Considerations

Fires burned under prescription will not likely eliminate purple coneflower. Impacts from wildfires have not been reported.

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Broad-scale Impacts of Plant Response to Fire

More info for the term: forb

Reports of purple coneflower's response to fire vary. Populations in southern
Illinois were substantially augmented after a thinning and burning operation
which also increased the occurrence of prairie grasses and other perennials
[73]. On the Willa Cather Prairie in southern Nebraska, purple coneflower accounted
for 0.11% of total species composition in 1976. In 1992, after 9 prescribed
burns and a reduction in grazing practices, it accounted for 0.04% of total
species composition. This difference is not statistically significant [75]. In western Oklahoma, purple
coneflower populations were seen subsequent to fall and winter burning.
In the 2 years following the burn, studies showed that perennial forb abundance
was unaffected [18]. Although actual coverage of purple coneflower was reduced
in annually burned sites in northeastern Kansas, net photosynthetic rates were
greater than those measured on unburned sites [69].
  • 18. Boyd, Chad S.; Bidwell, Terrence G. 2002. Effects of prescribed fire on shinnery oak (Quercus havardii) plant communities in western Oklahoma. Restoration Ecology. 10(2): 324-333. [42260]
  • 69. McAllister, Christine A.; Knapp, Alan K.; Maragni, Laura A. 1998. Is leaf-level photosynthesis related to plant success in a highly productive grassland? Oecologia. 117(1-2): 40-46. [33085]
  • 73. Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 1993. Simpson Township Barrens, Illinois. Natural History. 102(4): 24-27. [20449]
  • 75. Nagel, Harold G. 1995. Vegetative changes during 17 years of succession on Willa Cather Prairie in Nebraska. In: Hartnett, David C., ed. Prairie biodiversity: Proceedings, 14th North American prairie conference; 1994 July 12-16; Manhattan, KS. Manhattan, KS: Kansas State University: 25-30. [28223]

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Plant Response to Fire

Purple coneflower has been observed after prescribed fires [18,69,73,75]. Given its ability to regenerate from the root after a commercial harvest (Kindscher, personal communication [60]) and through seed banking on unburned sites [67], these methods of establishment should be considered in further research exploring the effects of fire on purple coneflower.
  • 18. Boyd, Chad S.; Bidwell, Terrence G. 2002. Effects of prescribed fire on shinnery oak (Quercus havardii) plant communities in western Oklahoma. Restoration Ecology. 10(2): 324-333. [42260]
  • 67. Lippert, Robert D.; Hopkins, Harold H. 1950. Study of viable seeds in various habitats in mixed prairie. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science. 53(3): 355-364. [1461]
  • 69. McAllister, Christine A.; Knapp, Alan K.; Maragni, Laura A. 1998. Is leaf-level photosynthesis related to plant success in a highly productive grassland? Oecologia. 117(1-2): 40-46. [33085]
  • 73. Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 1993. Simpson Township Barrens, Illinois. Natural History. 102(4): 24-27. [20449]
  • 75. Nagel, Harold G. 1995. Vegetative changes during 17 years of succession on Willa Cather Prairie in Nebraska. In: Hartnett, David C., ed. Prairie biodiversity: Proceedings, 14th North American prairie conference; 1994 July 12-16; Manhattan, KS. Manhattan, KS: Kansas State University: 25-30. [28223]
  • 60. Kindscher, Kelly. 2005. [Email to Amy Groen]. March 4. Information request for Echinacea angustifolia. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas, Biological Survey. [52866]

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Immediate Effect of Fire

Although the current literature does not discuss the immediate effect of fire on purple coneflower, it is likely top-killed.

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Post-fire Regeneration

More info for the term: secondary colonizer

POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY [99]:
Secondary colonizer (on-site or off-site seed sources)
  • 99. Stickney, Peter F. 1989. FEIS postfire regeneration workshop--April 12: Seral origin of species comprising secondary plant succession in Northern Rocky Mountain forests. 10 p. Unpublished draft on file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT. [20090]

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Fire Ecology

Fire adaptations: A study conducted by Wagenius and Shaw [108] found that the percentage of purple coneflower seeds developing into seedlings after a spring burn was 37% that of seeds which were not burned. Other studies have documented the return of purple coneflower populations after prescribed fires [44,73]. Although the ages were not determined, purple coneflower seeds were identified in the top 0.5 in (1.3 cm) of soils after a 7-year drought, suggesting the ability to seed bank [67]. Purple coneflower has been observed sprouting after commercial harvest of the top 6 to 10 inches (15.2-25.4 cm) of root material (Kindscher, personal communication [60]). Whether or not this indicates it can sprout after other types of disturbances, such as fire, is not known. Further research is needed to identify the existence or absence of fire adaptations in purple coneflower.

FIRE REGIMES: The following table provides fire return intervals for plant communities and ecosystems where purple coneflower is important. For further information, see the FEIS review of the dominant species listed below.

Community or Ecosystem Dominant Species Fire Return Interval Range (years)
bluestem prairie Andropogon gerardii var. gerardii-Schizachyrium scoparium 61,79]
plains grasslands Bouteloua spp. 79,113]
blue grama-needle-and-thread grass-western wheatgrass Bouteloua gracilis-Hesperostipa comata-Pascopyrum smithii 79,86,113]
blue grama-buffalo grass Bouteloua gracilis-Buchloe dactyloides 79,113]
cedar glades Juniperus virginiana 3-22 [46,79]
wheatgrass plains grasslands Pascopyrum smithii 79,83,113]
interior ponderosa pine* Pinus ponderosa var. scopulorum 2-30 [5,6,66]
oak-hickory Quercus-Carya spp. < 35
post oak-blackjack oak Quercus stellata-Q. marilandica 106]
little bluestem-grama prairie Schizachyrium scoparium-Bouteloua spp. 79]
*fire return interval varies widely; trends in variation are noted in the species review
  • 6. Baisan, Christopher H.; Swetnam, Thomas W. 1990. Fire history on a desert mountain range: Rincon Mountain Wilderness, Arizona, U.S.A. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 20: 1559-1569. [14986]
  • 5. Arno, Stephen F. 2000. Fire in western forest ecosystems. In: Brown, James K.; Smith, Jane Kapler, eds. Wildland fire in ecosystems: Effects of fire on flora. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-vol. 2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 97-120. [36984]
  • 44. Gartner, F. Robert. 1977. Ecological changes on pine grassland burned in fall and spring. Final Report Contract No. PX 120051027, U.S. Department of the Interior National Park Service, Rocky Mountain Regional Office. Rapid City, SD: South Dakota State University, Agricultural Research and Extension Center. 35 p. [1001]
  • 46. Guyette, Richard; McGinnes, E. A., Jr. 1982. Fire history of an Ozark glade in Missouri. Transactions, Missouri Academy of Science. 16: 85-93. [5170]
  • 66. Laven, R. D.; Omi, P. N.; Wyant, J. G.; Pinkerton, A. S. 1980. Interpretation of fire scar data from a ponderosa pine ecosystem in the central Rocky Mountains, Colorado. In: Stokes, Marvin A.; Dieterich, John H., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the fire history workshop; 1980 October 20-24; Tucson, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-81. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 46-49. [7183]
  • 67. Lippert, Robert D.; Hopkins, Harold H. 1950. Study of viable seeds in various habitats in mixed prairie. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science. 53(3): 355-364. [1461]
  • 73. Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 1993. Simpson Township Barrens, Illinois. Natural History. 102(4): 24-27. [20449]
  • 83. Quinnild, Clayton L.; Cosby, Hugh E. 1958. Relicts of climax vegetation on two mesas in western North Dakota. Ecology. 39(1): 29-32. [1925]
  • 86. Rowe, J. S. 1969. Lightning fires in Saskatchewan grassland. Canadian Field-Naturalist. 83: 317-324. [6266]
  • 113. Wright, Henry A.; Bailey, Arthur W. 1982. Fire ecology: United States and southern Canada. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 501 p. [2620]
  • 60. Kindscher, Kelly. 2005. [Email to Amy Groen]. March 4. Information request for Echinacea angustifolia. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas, Biological Survey. [52866]
  • 79. Paysen, Timothy E.; Ansley, R. James; Brown, James K.; [and others]. 2000. Fire in western shrubland, woodland, and grassland ecosystems. In: Brown, James K.; Smith, Jane Kapler, eds. Wildland fire in ecosystems: Effects of fire on flora. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-volume 2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 121-159. [36978]
  • 108. Wagenius, Stuart; Shaw, Ruth. 2002. Recruitment and fire: how prescribed burns affect seedling recruitment in the native prairie plant Echinacea angustifolia. In: Annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America; 2002 August 4-9; Tucson, AZ: Abstract. Available online: http://abstracts.co.allenpress.com/pweb/esa2002/document/?ID=17706 [2005, May 17]. [52870]

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Regeneration Processes

More info for the terms: adventitious, forb, formation

Purple coneflower was thought to reproduce exclusively by seed [10]; however, 15-25% of plants will sprout after removal of the top 6 to 8 inches (15.2-20.3 cm) of root material during cultivation (Kindscher, personal communication [60]).

Breeding system: No additional information is available on this topic.

Pollination: Purple coneflower is pollinated by insects [9]. Availability of pollen is determined by population size. Isolated plants experience greater pollen limitation [107].

Seed production: Purple coneflower relies on seed production to regenerate [76]. Plants begin to produce seed after 1 year of growth [29], with seed yield correlated to pollen availability [107]. In Kansas purple coneflower was the only forb that continued to produce seed in the 3 years following a 7-year drought [22].

Seed dispersal: Purple coneflower disperses its seed gradually from early fall to early summer [32]. Due to the lack of any specialized mechanism for seed dispersal, it is improbable that purple coneflower would colonize habitats distant from a seed source [76].

Seed banking: In a study intended to determine regeneration of plants after 7 years of drought in Hays, Kansas, viable purple coneflower seeds were found in the top 0.5 in (1.3 cm) of soil [67].

Germination: Purple coneflower seeds germinate on the surface of warm, moist soils at temperatures of 68 ºF (20 ºC) and above during spring months [32] before they are fully afterripened [10]. The seed has a corky covering that, when removed, allows for increased rates of germination. Thirteen percent of seeds with the covering germinated in 5 to 11 days and 92% of seeds without the covering germinated in 2 to 9 days [97].

Purple coneflower's need for stratification is unclear. In a study conducted by Baskin and others [10], 12 weeks of cold stratification were considered essential for seeds to overcome dormancy. In a separate study, it was determined that purple coneflower had low germination rates that were not improved by stratification or presowing treatments [93]. In Montana, purple coneflower seeds 3 months to 3 years of age germinated in high numbers regardless of stratification [32]. By placing seeds on a moist filter paper substrate in the dark and setting a constant temperature of 70 ºF (21 ºC), Owens and Call [78] observed a germination rate of 92% in 9 days for purple coneflower. When subjected to various thermoperiods and light/dark conditions, purple coneflower seeds displayed a variety of germination rates [10]. By allowing germination to occur in a greenhouse with the use of light, Smith-Jochum and Albrecht [95] found an increase in rates when compared with field germination.

Various treatments have exhibited positive effects on germination rates of purple coneflower. Gao and others found that treating seeds with 5.3M of KOH for 10 minutes increased germination from 30% to 90% and emergence from 12% to 90% [42]. Seeds treated with 1.0 mM of ethephon solution and kept under constant light showed a 29% increase in germination rates. Untreated seeds germinated at a rate of 50% to 60% [88].

Seedling establishment/growth: In a study conducted on 1,249 purple coneflower seedlings, population fragmentation was a significant indicator of seedling vigor [107]. One hundred percent of purple coneflower seeds collected in South Dakota were found to be viable and 76.5% developed mature embryos [97].

Asexual regeneration: While Bare [8] and Umbanhowar [104] maintain that purple coneflower is rhizomatous, Kindscher suggests that it is a tap-rooted species devoid of rhizomes (Kindscher, personal communication [60]). Kaul was also not able to detect any rhizomes on purple coneflower (Kaul, personal communication [58]). Further research may be necessary to verify the existence or absence of rhizomes in purple coneflower.

Purple coneflower can be propagated through cuttings from the thick taproot [47]. Mass propagation can be done using axillary bud proliferation, adventitious shoot formation and somatic embryogenesis [64], potentially producing plants on a scale suitable for commercial needs.

  • 8. Bare, Janet E. 1979. Wildflowers and weeds of Kansas. Lawrence, KS: The Regents Press of Kansas. 509 p. [3801]
  • 9. Baskauf, Carol J. 2001. Examining rarity through comparisons with widespread congeners: a genetic and ecophysiological example from limestone and glade endemics. Castanea. 66(1-2): 126-133. [49190]
  • 10. Baskin, Carol C.; Baskin, Jerry M.; Hoffman, George R. 1992. Seed dormancy in the prairie forb Echinacea angustifolia var. angustifolia (Asteraceae): afterripening pattern during cold stratification. International Journal of Plant Science. 15(3): 239-243. [19443]
  • 22. Brown, H. Ray. 1943. Growth and seed yields of native prairie plants in various habitats of the mixed-prairie. Transactions, Kansas Academy of Science. 46: 87-99. [26146]
  • 29. Dickerson, John A.; Longren, Warren G.; Hadle, Edith K. 1981. Native forb seed production. In: Stuckey, Ronald L.; Reese, Karen J., eds. The prairie peninsula--in the "shadow" of Transeau: Proceedings, 6th North American prairie conference; 1978 August 12-17; Columbus, OH. Ohio Biological Survey Biological Notes No. 15. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University, College of Biological Sciences: 218-222. [3431]
  • 32. Eddleman, Lee E. 1979. Regeneration strategies of mixed-prairie plants. In: Goodin, J. R.; Northington, D. K., eds. Arid land plant resources: Proceedings of the international arid lands conference on plant resources; 1979 July; Lubbock, TX. Lubbock, TX: Texas Tech University, International Center for Arid and Semi-Arid Land Studies: 684-698. [845]
  • 42. Gao, Yong-Ping; Zheng, Guo-Hua; Gusta, Lawrence V. 1998. Potassium hydroxide improves seed germination and emergence in five native plant species. HortScience. 33(2): 274-276. [49143]
  • 47. Harbage, James F. 2001. Micropropagation of Echinacea angustifolia, E. pallida, and E. purpurea from stem and seed explants. HortScience. 36(2): 360-364. [49145]
  • 64. Lakshmanan, Prakash; Danesh, Majid; Taji, Acram. 1998. Production of four commercially cultivated Echinacea species by different methods of in vitro regeneration. Journal of Horticultural Science & Biotechnology. 77(2): 158-163. [49181]
  • 67. Lippert, Robert D.; Hopkins, Harold H. 1950. Study of viable seeds in various habitats in mixed prairie. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science. 53(3): 355-364. [1461]
  • 76. Neuhauser, Claudia; Andow, D. A.; Heimpel, George E.; May, Georgiana; Shaw, Ruth G.; Wagenius, Stuart. 2003. Community genetics: expanding the synthesis of ecology and genetics. Ecology. 84(3): 545-558. [49200]
  • 78. Owens, D. W.; Call, C. A. 1985. Germination characteristics of Helianthus maximilianai Schrad. and Simsia calva (Engelm. & Gray) Gray. Journal of Range Management. 38(4): 336-339. [22005]
  • 88. Sari, Ali O.; Morales, Mario R.; Simon, James E. 2001. Ethephon can overcome seed dormancy and improve seed germination in purple coneflower species Echinacea angustifolia and E. pallida. HortTechnology. 11(2): 202-205. [49171]
  • 93. Shalaby, A. S.; Agina, E. A.; El-Gengaihi, S. E.; El-Khayat, A. S.; Hindawy, S. F. 1997. Response of Echinacea to some agricultural practices. Journal of Herbs, Spices & Medicinal Plants. 4(4): 59-67. [49225]
  • 95. Smith-Jochum, C. C.; Albrecht, M. L. 1987. Field establishment of three Echinacea species for commercial production. Acta Horticulturae. 208: 115-120. [49175]
  • 97. Sorensen, J. T.; Holden, D. J. 1974. Germination of native prairie forb seeds. Journal of Range Management. 27(2): 123-126. [15617]
  • 104. Umbanhowar, Charles E., Jr. 1995. Revegetation of earthen mounds along a topographic-productivity gradient in a northern mixed prairie. Journal of Vegetation Science. 6(5): 637-646. [27167]
  • 107. Wagenius, S. 2000. Performance of a prairie mating system in fragmented habitat: self-compatibility and limited pollen dispersal in Echinacea angustifolia. St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota. Dissertation. [52747]
  • 58. Kaul, Robert B. 2005. [Email to Amy Groen]. March 10. Information request for Echinacea angustifolia. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska, Bessey Herbarium. [52868]
  • 60. Kindscher, Kelly. 2005. [Email to Amy Groen]. March 4. Information request for Echinacea angustifolia. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas, Biological Survey. [52866]

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: geophyte

RAUNKIAER [84] LIFE FORM: 
Geophyte
  • 84. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843]

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Life Form

More info for the term: forb

Forb

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

More info on this topic.

Purple coneflower has slow seedling development [29], and rarely flowers before its 3rd year [76]. Anthesis occurs from late spring to mid-summer and occasionally again in the fall [49]. Flowering dates following 6 years of observation in southeastern North Dakota were [25]:

Earliest first bloom

Latest first bloom

Median date of full flowering

Median date when 95% of flowering complete

Length of flowering period (days)

June 20th

July 12th

July 11th

August 2nd

27

Purple coneflower stands can survive for more than 5 years and have no dormancy period [29]. Senescence occurs in September-October [69].

  • 25. Callow, J. Michael; Kantrud, Harold A.; Higgins, Kenneth F. 1992. First flowering dates and flowering periods of prairie plants at Woodworth, North Dakota. Prairie Naturalist. 24(2): 57-64. [20450]
  • 29. Dickerson, John A.; Longren, Warren G.; Hadle, Edith K. 1981. Native forb seed production. In: Stuckey, Ronald L.; Reese, Karen J., eds. The prairie peninsula--in the "shadow" of Transeau: Proceedings, 6th North American prairie conference; 1978 August 12-17; Columbus, OH. Ohio Biological Survey Biological Notes No. 15. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University, College of Biological Sciences: 218-222. [3431]
  • 49. Hipps, Carol Bishop. 1988. Purple coneflower. Horticulture. August: 46-49. [15616]
  • 69. McAllister, Christine A.; Knapp, Alan K.; Maragni, Laura A. 1998. Is leaf-level photosynthesis related to plant success in a highly productive grassland? Oecologia. 117(1-2): 40-46. [33085]
  • 76. Neuhauser, Claudia; Andow, D. A.; Heimpel, George E.; May, Georgiana; Shaw, Ruth G.; Wagenius, Stuart. 2003. Community genetics: expanding the synthesis of ecology and genetics. Ecology. 84(3): 545-558. [49200]

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Echinacea angustifolia

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N3 - Vulnerable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure

Reasons: Widespread in the Great Plains region. Although still abundant, this species has suffered nearly a century of wild root harvesting across the range. Other threats include the destruction of its native prairie habitat by converting it to pastures and highway maintenance practices.

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In Wyoming, purple coneflower has been assigned a state ranking of 3 and a global ranking of 4, with 1 being rare and 5 being abundant [39]. In Missouri, purple coneflower is listed as critically imperiled at the state level and as a long-term concern at the global level [72].

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Status

Please consult the PLANTS Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status, such as, state noxious status and wetland indicator values.

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Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Threats

Comments: Human actual threat: excessive root digging; highway maintenance including mowing, use of herbicides; conversion of prairie to pasture.

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Management

Biological Research Needs: Genetic diversity.

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Management considerations

More info for the terms: interference, natural

Biological:
Wild and commercially-grown populations of purple coneflower are subject to interference from
nonnative plants and a variety of diseases. Wild populations in the oak savannahs of southeastern
Kansas were reduced after an invasion of sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata) [34]. In
Theodore Roosevelt National Park in southwestern North Dakota, purple coneflower was eliminated
by an infestation of leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) [24]. In Alberta, commercial populations
have been infested with aster yellows [26], sclerotinia blight (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum) [109], sclerotinia stem rot and botrytis blight [27].

Extracts from purple coneflower plants have been used to manage populations of both grain beetles
[74] and yellow mealworms [53].

Pale echinacea (Echinacea pallida) has been shown to be highly aggressive
and can outcompete purple coneflower whose dry weight and leaf area are considerably less [96].

Commercial Harvest:
There are potential harvesting pressures on natural stocks of purple coneflower with renewed
interest in its use as a medicinal plant [59]. Commercial production of purple coneflower is
discussed in [7,20,29,50,52,82,110].
  • 7. Bantle, Myles; Carrier, D. Julie; Crowe, Trever. 2000. Development of guidelines for harvesting Echinacea angustifolia roots. Final Report: ADF Project 19990067. Regina, SK: Saskatchewan Agriculture and Foods, Agriculture Development Fund. 122 p. [49093]
  • 20. Bragg, Thomas B.; Sutherland, David M. 1989. Establishing warm-season grasses and forbs using herbicides and mowing. In: Bragg, Thomas B.; Stubbendieck, James, eds. Prairie pioneers: ecology, history and culture: Proceedings, 11th North American prairie conference; 1988 August 7-11; Lincoln, NE. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska: 81-89. [14023]
  • 29. Dickerson, John A.; Longren, Warren G.; Hadle, Edith K. 1981. Native forb seed production. In: Stuckey, Ronald L.; Reese, Karen J., eds. The prairie peninsula--in the "shadow" of Transeau: Proceedings, 6th North American prairie conference; 1978 August 12-17; Columbus, OH. Ohio Biological Survey Biological Notes No. 15. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University, College of Biological Sciences: 218-222. [3431]
  • 59. Kindscher, Kelly. 1989. Ethnobotany of purple coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia, Asteraceae) and other Echinacea species. Economic Botany. 43(4): 498-507. [15615]
  • 24. Butler, Jack L.; Cogan, Daniel R. 2004. Leafy spurge effects on patterns of plant species richness. Journal of Range Management. 57(3): 305-311. [49818]
  • 26. Chang, K. F.; Howard, R. J.; Blade, S. F.; Hwang, S. F. 2000. Survey of aster yellow of Echinacea in Alberta in 1999. Canadian Plant Disease Survey. Ottawa: Agriculture Canada, Research Branch. 80: 88-89. [49064]
  • 27. Chang, K. F.; Howard, R. J.; Hwang, S. F.; Blade, S. F. 1999. Diseases of Echinacea in Alberta in 1998. Canadian Plant Disease Survey. Ottawa: Agriculture Canada, Research Branch. 79: 109-111. [49069]
  • 34. Eddy, Thomas A.; Moore, Cindy M. 1998. Effects of sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata (Dumont) G. Don) invasion on oak savannas in Kansas. Transactions, Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. 86: 57-62. [45567]
  • 50. Holden, D. J.; Ellis, B. E.; Chen, C. H. 1978. Cloning native prairie plants by tissue culture. In: Glenn-Lewin, David C.; Landers, Roger Q., Jr., eds. Proceedings, 5th Midwest prairie conference; 1976 August 22-24; Ames, IA. Ames, IA: Iowa State University: 92-95. [3355]
  • 52. Izmailow, Romana; Pajak, Maria. 2002. Fertility of Echinacea angustifolia Moench and Linum usitatissimum L. after herbicide treatment. Breeding Research on Aromatic and Medicinal Plants. 9(2-3): 65-70. [49227]
  • 53. Jacobson, Martin; Redfern, Robert E.; Mills, Giles D., Jr. 1975. Naturally occurring insect growth regulators. II. Screening of insect and plant extracts as insect juvenile hormone mimics. Lloydia. 38(6): 455-472. [49056]
  • 74. Moore, Michael. 1989. Medicinal plants of the desert and canyon West. Santa Fe, NM: Museum of New Mexico Press. 184 p. [25027]
  • 82. Powell, Erin E.; Carrier, Danielle Julie; Crowe, Trever G.; Bantle, Myles R. L. 2001. Echinacoside and alkamide distribution in Echinacea angustifolia root: root depth and growing condition. Journal of Nutraceuticals, Functional and Medical Foods. 3(3): 95-106. [49173]
  • 96. Snyder, Kristin M.; Baskin, Jerry M.; Baskin, Carol C. 1994. Comparative ecology of the narrow endemic Echinacea tennesseensis and two geographically widespread congeners: relative competitive ability and growth characteristics. International Journal of Plant Sciences. 155(1): 57-65. [49219]
  • 109. Wang, H.; Chang, K. F.; Hwang, S. F.; Turnbull, G. D.; Howard, R. J. 2000. Effects of root inoculation and fungicide soil drenches on sclerotinia blight of coneflower. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 80(4): 909-915. [49192]
  • 110. Wiley, Moira K. 2001. Echinacea--reaping herbal profits. Ag Ventures. 5(4): 11-13. [49054]

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Cultivars, improved and selected materials (and area of origin)

ECAN2 is readily available from native plant nurseries and seed companies throughout its range. Contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (formerly Soil Conservation Service) office for more information. Look in the phone book under ”United States Government.” The Natural Resources Conservation Service will be listed under the subheading “Department of Agriculture.”

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Herbivores such as insects and deer are not a problem with Echinacea. Gophers and moles can be a problem, eating the roots. Goldfinches love the Echinacea seed crop and can clear out all the seed in a few days.

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Harvesting

  • Seed can be harvested during the fall of the second year. Harvest the seed in autumn when seeds are ripe, before the fall rains set in. Seed should be from the largest and most vital plants.

  • Stop watering when the seeds begin to mature – excessive watering at this stage is not needed and it may damage the seed crop.

  • Snip the coneheads off and put them in buckets. If the seed is still a little green, dry the coneheads in the sun.

  • Separate the seed from the chaffy debris. It is important to break up the coneheads without damaging the seed. Run the seed through a hammermill or compost chopper at low RPM through a one-inch screen. Then pass the seed and chaff through a ¼ inch stationary screen. Shake the remaining seed and chaff through a screen that is too small for the seed to pass. What you have left is the seed with only the chaff that is the same size as the seed.

  • Lay out a flannel sheet and pour a cupful of your seed/chaff along the edge. Lift the top edge of the sheet and roll the seed to the other end where your partner is waiting to carefully funnel the seed into a bowl.

  • Make sure the seed is thoroughly dry. Store in plastic bags in a cool, dry, and dark place. Plastic bags allow the seed to respire, while glass does not. Seed thus stored remains viable for about three years.

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Seed propagation

  • Echinacea angustifolia has a reputation for poor germination. Actually, when the proper steps are take, it has extremely dependable germination. The following information is provided by Richo Cech (1995).

  • Seeds require a 12-week period of cold conditioning, or cold stratification, to germinate.

  • Outdoors, scatter seed thinly on well-limed, weed-free, open beds in the fall or early winter, covering the seed with a light sifting of potting soil. The seed is thereby subjected to the optimal conditions of oscillating temperatures, an extremely important pre-germination environment for Echinacea seed.

  • An acceptable alternative to outdoor cold conditioning is to mix the seeds with damp sand and switch between the refrigerator and freezer several times over a period of 12 weeks. This seed may then be sown directly in the garden or field. The conditioned seed may also be sown in flats and placed in the greenhouse or outside.

  • Another method of cold stratification is to wrap the seeds in wet peat moss and place them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for two to four months. Plant seeds in deep plug trays; this allows the taproot to develop straight down to a depth of six or eight inches prior to transplanting. Seeds should be barely covered with soil when planted.

  • E. angustifolia seedlings have a tendency toward transplant shock and slow growth, especially if the development of the taproot is compromised by keeping seedlings in the flats or plots too long. Seedlings have little vigor and must be carefully weeded and watered.

  • For field cultivation, close spacing of the plants allows for optimal root yield per area planted. Plants may be thinned to 6-12 inch spacing in the row or bed. Keep relatively free of weeds and water occasionally during dry spells. Over-watering should be avoided, for the root crowns are subject to rotting. A sparing side dressing of organic compost, usually in the mid-spring, will assist this sometimes slow-growing herbaceous perennial in outranking competitive weeds.

An ounce of well-cleaned E. angustifolia seed contains approximately 8,000 seeds. A pound contains around 128,000 seeds. Given a very tight spacing of six inches between the plants and one foot between the rows, an acre would contain 87,200 plants. Given a 68% germination rate, a pound of good seed could produce an acre of plants. This same acre, dormant harvested for the roots at the end of the second year of growth, would produce (at ¼ lb. per root) 21,800 lbs of fresh root.

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Propagation from cuttings

Purple coneflower can be propagated by division of the crowns. This technique results in stronger plants initially and eliminates the tedious nurturing and tending of the slow-growing seedlings (Kindscher 1992). Harvest roots when plants are dormant, when leaves begin to turn brown. Wash roots and remove most for use. Then carefully divide the crown by hand to make one to five “plantlets.” Replant the divisions as soon as possible. It is important that they don’t dry out, so if replanting is delayed a couple of hours, dip the plants briefly in water and keep them in a sealed plastic bag in a cool, shady place until you are ready to replant them. When replanting, ensure that the remaining fine roots are well spread out in the planting hole and the soil is pressed firmly around the plant. These plantlets can be grown in flats in the greenhouse during the winter to re-establish their root systems, then replanted in the field the following spring for another round of production.

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Uses

Uses: MEDICINE/DRUG

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Value for rehabilitation of disturbed sites

More info for the terms: cover, forbs, frequency, reclamation, restoration

Purple coneflower is valuable for the restoration of prairies in the Great Plains region. In central Texas, container grown transplants were a successful part of the Blackland Prairie restoration effort [2]. At the Heard Museum in eastern Texas, strips of sod transplanted from a nearby area and supporting a similar composition of species displayed an initial decrease and subsequent increase in cover and frequency of purple coneflower [98]. In Kansas, purple coneflower plants were grown in a greenhouse and inoculated with Rhizobium bacteria before being transplanted. Two seedlings planted in 1984 survived year 1, and 1 survived the 2nd year, while 88% of 64 seedlings planted in 1985 survived [81]. In Nebraska, individual purple coneflower plants and tallgrass prairie sod were successfully relocated onto restoration sites [19].

Coal mine spoil materials in North Dakota have been successfully seeded with purple coneflower [15,16]. In a 2-year study conducted in southwestern North Dakota, directly seeded forbs, including purple coneflower, produced numerous seedlings in June following original planting [16]. In a separate study conducted in the northern Great Plains region, purple coneflower grown in greenhouse containers produced only a few seedlings after being transplanted, but displayed "exceptional" establishment characteristics and hearty growth in both years [15].

In South Dakota, artificially constructed earthen mounds on low, middle, and high productivity gradients were monitored to determine species richness and yield on a spatial scale. Purple coneflower was found on greater than 35% of the mounds located in each topographic gradient, indicating its ability to respond to disturbances and recolonize sites in which soil degradation has occurred [104].

Eddleman [31] discusses the viability of purple coneflower seeds for reclamation in southeastern Montana. Age of seed, temperatures, stratification, and planting seasons are addressed as factors in success rates. Albrecht and Smith-Jochum [1] discuss methods used in germination and establishment of purple coneflower, including raised beds, soil pH, light availability, precipitation and temperature.

  • 2. Anderson, Elizabeth S. 1992. Reconstructed prairie as an educational tool. In: Smith, Daryl D.; Jacobs, Carol A., eds. Recapturing a vanishing heritage: Proceedings, 12th North American prairie conference; 1990 August 5-9; Cedar Falls, IA. Cedar Falls, IA: University of Northern Iowa: 209-211. [24742]
  • 16. Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Whitman, Warren C. 1989. Promising native forbs for seeding on mine spoils. In: Walker, D. G.; Powter, C. B.; Pole, M. W., compilers. Proceedings of the conference: Reclamation, a global perspective; 1989 August 27-31; Calgary, AB. Edmonton, AB: Alberta Land Conservation and Reclamation Council: 255-262. [14354]
  • 19. Bragg, Thomas B. 1988. Prairie transplants: preserving ecological diversity. In: Davis, Arnold; Stanford, Geoffrey, eds. The prairie: roots of our culture; foundation of our economy: Proceedings, 10th North American prairie conference; 1986 June 22-26; Denton, TX. Dallas, TX: Native Prairie Association of Texas: 09.07: 1-6. [25608]
  • 81. Platt, Dwight R. 1988. Development and survival of plants in a prairie reconstruction at Kauffman Museum in south central Kansas. In: Davis, Arnold; Stanford, Geoffrey, eds. The prairie: roots of our culture; foundation of our economy: Proceedings, 10th North American prairie conference; 1986 June 22-26; Denton, TX. Dallas, TX: Native Prairie Association of Texas: 09.02: 1-5. [25603]
  • 98. Steigman, Kenneth L.; Ovenden, Lynn. 1988. Transplanting tallgrass prairie with a sodcutter. In: Davis, Arnold; Stanford, Geoffrey, eds. The prairie: roots of our culture; foundation of our economy: Proceedings, 10th North American prairie conference; 1986 June 22-26; Denton, TX. Dallas, TX: Native Prairie Association of Texas: 09.01: 1-2. [25602]
  • 104. Umbanhowar, Charles E., Jr. 1995. Revegetation of earthen mounds along a topographic-productivity gradient in a northern mixed prairie. Journal of Vegetation Science. 6(5): 637-646. [27167]
  • 15. Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Whitman, Warren C. 1982. Perennial forbs for wildlife habitat restoration on mined lands in the northern Great Plains. In: Proceedings, 62nd annual conference of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies; 1982 July 19-22; Las Vegas, Nevada: 257-271. [2932]
  • 31. Eddleman, Lee E. 1977. Indigenous plants of southeastern Montana. I. Viability and suitability for reclamation in the Fort Union Basin. Special Publication 4. Missoula, MT: University of Montana, School of Forestry, Montana Forest and Conservation Experiment Station. 122 p. [42440]
  • 1. Albrecht, Mary Lewnes; Smith-Jochum, Christine. [n.d.]. Germination and establishment of Echinacea spp. (Compositae). Wildflower: Journal of the National Wildflower Research Center. 3(2): 6-11. [17083]

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Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

More info for the term: cover

Purple coneflower is utilized for forage by both livestock [54] and wildlife [63].

Palatability/nutritional value: Purple coneflower is utilized by livestock and provides nutritious forage where available. In Montana, it is considered a warm season, high-producing plant that is palatable to grazing animals, but subject to population declines under heavy grazing pressures [63]. In Kansas, populations are drastically reduced in grazed areas but continue to do well along fenced roadside borders [33]. On test plots in southern Minnesota, purple coneflower was found to be undesirable as browse for white-tailed deer, eastern cottontails, and ground squirrels [36]. Mature plants are inedible to cattle [89].

Purple coneflower has been successfully added to the feed of undernourished cows and horses in order to stimulate appetite [59].

Cover value: In the Loess Hill prairies of western Iowa, purple coneflower occurs in the prairie-obligate skipper butterfly's habitat [90].

  • 33. Eddy, Thomas A. 1992. The role of prairie road borders as refugia for herbaceous plants in the central Flint Hills grazing region of Kansas. In: Smith, Daryl D.; Jacobs, Carol A., eds. Recapturing a vanishing heritage: Proceedings, 12th North American prairie conference; 1990 August 5-9; Cedar Falls, IA. Cedar Falls, IA: University of Northern Iowa: 161-163. [24735]
  • 54. Johnson, James R.; Nichols, James T. 1970. Plants of South Dakota grasslands: A photographic study. Bull. 566. Brookings, SD: South Dakota State University, Agricultural Experiment Station. 163 p. [18500]
  • 59. Kindscher, Kelly. 1989. Ethnobotany of purple coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia, Asteraceae) and other Echinacea species. Economic Botany. 43(4): 498-507. [15615]
  • 89. Sarvis, J. T. 1941. Grazing investigations on the Northern Great Plains. Bull. 307. Fargo, ND: North Dakota Experiment Station. 110 p. In cooperation with: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Northern Great Plains Field Station. [10853]
  • 36. Englund, Judy Voigt; Meyer, William J. 1986. The impact of deer on 24 species of prairie forbs. In: Clambey, Gary K.; Pemble, Richard H., eds. The prairie: past, present and future: Proceedings, 9th North American prairie conference; 1984 July 29 - August 1; Moorhead, MN. Fargo, ND: Tri-College University Center for Environmental Studies: 210-212. [3575]
  • 63. Lacey, John; Mosley, John. 2002. 250 plants for range contests in Montana. MONTGUIDE MT198402 AG 6/2002. Range E-2 (Misc.). Bozeman, MT: Montana State University, Extension Service. 4 p. [43671]
  • 90. Schlicht, Dennis W.; Orwig, Timothy T. 1992. Sequential use of niche by prairie obligate skipper butterflies (Lepidoptera: Hesperidae) with implications for management. In: Smith, Daryl D.; Jacobs, Carol A., eds. Recapturing a vanishing heritage: Proceedings, 12th North American prairie conference; 1990 August 5-9; Cedar Falls, IA. Cedar Falls, IA: University of Northern Iowa: 137-139. [24730]

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Other uses and values

Medicinal: Various Native American tribes harvest purple coneflower for a wide range of applications. It is often used in the treatment of snakebite wounds [3,37,40,54,59,87] in addition to oral ailments [37,40,54,59] and various infections [35]. Purple coneflower has both antibiotic and antiviral attributes [1] and can be used to augment immune systems [74].

Given the chemical heterogeneity and lack of standardized procedures for preparation, health care researchers have found it difficult to assess the effectiveness of purple coneflower [71]. Adverse effects stemming from the use of various Echinacea species have been reported to the US Food and Drug Administration [101], and the importance of standardizing preparation methods has been addressed [12].

  • 54. Johnson, James R.; Nichols, James T. 1970. Plants of South Dakota grasslands: A photographic study. Bull. 566. Brookings, SD: South Dakota State University, Agricultural Experiment Station. 163 p. [18500]
  • 59. Kindscher, Kelly. 1989. Ethnobotany of purple coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia, Asteraceae) and other Echinacea species. Economic Botany. 43(4): 498-507. [15615]
  • 3. Anon. 1993. Wildflower notebook. Wildflower. 10(3): 4. [20976]
  • 12. Bauer, Rudolf. 1999. Chemistry, analysis and immunological investigations of Echinacea phytopharmaceuticals. In: Wagner, H., ed. Immunomodulatory agents from plants. Basil, Switzerland: Birkhauser Verlag: 41-88. [49076]
  • 35. Emmendorffer, Andreas C.; Wagner, Hildebert; Lohmann-Matthes, Marie-Luise. 1999. Immunologically active polysaccharides from Echinacea purpurea plant and cell cultures. In: Wagner, H., ed. Immunomodulatory agents from plants. Basil, Switzerland: Birkhauser Verlag: 89-104. [49077]
  • 37. Ernst, E.; Stevinson, C. 1999. New data on old herbal remedies. Perfusion. 12(5): 192-194. [49180]
  • 40. Flannery, Michael A. 2001. From rudbeckia to echinacea: the emergence of the purple coneflower in modern therapeutics. In: HerbalGram 51. Austin, TX: American Botanical Council and the Herb Research Foundation: 29-33. [49053]
  • 71. Melchart, Dieter; Linde, Klaus. 1999. Clinical investigations of Echinacea phytopharmaceuticals. In: Wagner, H., ed. Immunomodulatory agents from plants. Basil, Switzerland: Birkhauser Verlag: 105-118. [49090]
  • 74. Moore, Michael. 1989. Medicinal plants of the desert and canyon West. Santa Fe, NM: Museum of New Mexico Press. 184 p. [25027]
  • 87. Santich, Rob; Davidson, Helga. 2002. Medicinal and food plants of the Navajo and Lakota people. Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism. 14(3): 122-126. [49197]
  • 101. Thomas, Paul R. 2001. Echinacea: a natural remedy for the common cold and flu? Nutrition Today. 36(5): 249-253. [49223]
  • 1. Albrecht, Mary Lewnes; Smith-Jochum, Christine. [n.d.]. Germination and establishment of Echinacea spp. (Compositae). Wildflower: Journal of the National Wildflower Research Center. 3(2): 6-11. [17083]

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Uses

Ethnobotanic: The purple coneflower, Echinacea angustifolia, was and still is the most widely used medicinal plant of the Plains Indians (Kindscher 1992). It was used as a painkiller and for a variety of ailments, including toothache, coughs, colds, sore throats, and snake bite. Echinacea angustifolia was used as an analgesic by the Cheyenne, the Dakota, the Fox, and the Winnebago (Moerman 1986). Purple coneflower is used as an antidote for poisonous conditions, snake bite, and other poisonous bites by the Winnebago, Ponca, Pawnee, Omaha, Dakota, and by most Montana tribes (Gilmore 1977). The root was used to relieve toothache by the Dakota, Omaha, Pawnee, Ponca, Teton Sioux, and Winnebago (Moerman 1986). The Cheyenne chewed the root to stimulate the flow of saliva, which was especially useful for Sun Dance participants as a thirst preventative (Hart 1981). A wash was used as a dressing for burns to relieve pain by the Dakota, Winnebago, Omaha, Pawnee, and Ponca.

The Fox used purple coneflower as an anti-convulsive and gastro-intestinal aid. The Kiowa chewed coneflower root for coughs and sore throats. The Omaha and Pawnee used a smoke treatment as a remedy for headache. A poultice of smashed roots were applied as an anesthetic to arms and hands by the Omaha, and a poultice was applied to enlarged glands as a treatment for diseases such as mumps by the Pawnee, Ponca, Dakota, and Winnebago. Purple coneflower was used to increase endurance in the sweat lodge ceremony by the Dakota, Pawnee, Ponca, and Winnebago. The Lakota ate the root and green fruit when they were thirsty or perspiring (Rogers 1980, Munson 1981). The Teton Sioux used coneflower to cure tonsillitis. The Omaha and Ponca used the plant as eyewash. When the roots were mixed with blazing star (Mentzelia laevicaulis) and boiled, the resulting tea was drunk for smallpox (Kindscher 1992). Purple coneflower roots mixed with puffball (Lycoperdon species) spores and skunk oil were used in the treatment of boils. The smoke from burning purple coneflower was used as a treatment for distemper in horses by the Ponca, Dakota, Pawnee, and Winnebago.

The Omaha, the Lakota, and the Ponca sometimes used the seed heads to comb their hair (Kindscher 1992). Purple coneflower stalks were used in play by Pawnee children. They would whirl two flower stalks one around the other, the two stalk touching by the flower heads.

The purple coneflower was the only native prairie plant popularized as a medicine by folk practitioners and doctors, and was used extensively as a folk remedy (Kindscher 1992). The use of the purple coneflower root was used by early settlers in Oklahoma as an aid in nearly every kind of sickness. If a cow or a horse did not eat well, people administered Echinacea in its feed.

Echinacea is widely used as an herbal remedy today, primarily as an immuno-stimulant. Echinacea angustifolia root was found to possess mild antibiotic activity against Streptococcus and Staphyloccus aureus (Stoll et al. 1950). A pentane-oil extracted from the root was found to be inhibitory to Walker carcinosarcoma 256 and P-388 lymphocytic leukemia (Voaden and Jacobson 1972). Italian investigators found the wound-healing effects of Echinacea to be attributable to echinacin B (Bonadea et al. 1971). Perhaps the most important finding so far is the discovery of large, highly active polysaccharide molecules in E. angustifolia that possess immunostimulatory properties (Wagner and Proksch 1985, Wagner et al. 1985). Stimulation of the immune system appears to be strongly influenced by dose level. Recent pharmacological studies indicate that a 10-mg/kg daily dose of the polysaccharide over a ten-day period is effective as an immuno-stimulant. Increases in the daily dosage beyond this level, however, resulted in “markedly decreased pharmacological activity” (Wagner and Proksch 1985, Wagner et al. 1985). Other research has shown that the purple coneflower produces an anti-inflammatory effect and has therapeutic value in urology, gynecology, internal medicine, and dermatology (Wagner and Proksch 1985).

Echinacea angustifolia also contains chemical compounds that are insecticidal. One such compound is toxic to mosquitoes and houseflies; another substance, echinolone, disrupts insect development (Hartzell 1947, Jacobson 1954, Voaden and Jacobson 1972). Researchers in the Horticulture Department of South Dakota State University are currently attempting to identify the Echinacea angustifolia germplasm containing the highest level of echinolone. It will be used in manufacturing and insecticide for sunflower crops (Foster 1991).

Ornamental: The purple coneflower is often grown simply for its ornamental value, especially for its showy flowers. The best possibility for obtaining a new cultivar is in the hybrids between Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea angustifolia var. angustifolia, whose progeny are compact, rounded, and bushy plants about two feet in diameter (McGregor 1968).

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Wikipedia

Echinacea angustifolia

Echinacea angustifolia (Narrow-leaved purple coneflower, blacksamson echinacea) is a herbaceous plant species in Asteraceae. The plants grow 40 to 70 centimetres (16 to 28 in) tall with spindle-shaped taproots that are often branched. The stems and leaves are moderately to densely hairy.

E. angustifolia blooms late spring to mid summer. It is found growing in dry prairies and barrens with rocky to sandy-clay soils. There are two subspecies: E. a. angustifolia is native from Saskatchewan and Manitoba in the north to New Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana in the south, while E. a. strigosa has a more limited range in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana.[1]

Many Native American groups used this plant for a variety of medicinal purposes, including pain relief and relief of colds and toothaches.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Echinacea angustifolia, USDA PLANTS Profile
  2. ^ Echinacea angustifolia. USDA NRCS Plant Guide.
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Notes

Comments

Echinacea angustifolia var. strigosa as a complex of diploid and tetraploid populations ranging geographically from southeastern Kansas and central Oklahoma to north-central Texas. He noted that var. strigosa is distinguishable by its shorter stature, stems frequently branched, somewhat flexuous, distally strigose to strigose-hirsute that retain, in part, a green color upon drying. A hybrid origin for var. strigosa was suggested based on the morphologic intermediacy of natural populations compared to synthesized hybrids between typical E. angustifolia and E. atrorubens (McGregor 1968). Populations along the southern boundary of the range of var. strigosa are tetraploid. In their morphometric analyses, S. E. Binns et al. (2002) did not recognize var. strigosa; they found it indistinguishable from typical E. angustifolia.
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Described in monograph by R.L. McGregor (1968); generally accepted (e.g., Kartesz 1994 and 1999).

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The currently accepted scientific name for purple coneflower is Echinacea angustifolia
DC (Asteraceae) [8,30,45,55]. There are 2 recognized varieties:

E. a. var. angustifolia

E. a. var. strigosa (R.L. McGreg) [45,55]

Throughout this review, purple coneflower will refer to both varieties, E. a. var.
angustifolia and E. a. var. strigosa. The literature does not differentiate between
the 2 infrataxa, so distinction between the varieties will only be made in the distribution and
occurrence section.

Hybrids: In an experimental garden setting, E. a. var. angustifolia
was successfully crossed with eastern purple coneflower (E. purpurea) [70].
  • 8. Bare, Janet E. 1979. Wildflowers and weeds of Kansas. Lawrence, KS: The Regents Press of Kansas. 509 p. [3801]
  • 45. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 70. McGregor, Ronald L. 1968. The taxonomy of the genus Echinacea (Compositae). University of Kansas Science Bulletin. 48(4): 113-142. [15614]
  • 55. Jones, Stanley D.; Wipff, Joseph K.; Montgomery, Paul M. 1997. Vascular plants of Texas. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 404 p. [28762]
  • 30. Dorn, Robert D. 1977. Flora of the Black Hills. [Place of publication unknown]: Robert D. Dorn and Jane L. Dorn. 377 p. [820]

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Common Names

purple coneflower

narrow-leaved coneflower

blacksamson

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