Regularity: Regularly occurring
Localities documented in Tropicos sources
United States (North America)
Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
- Anonymous. 1986. List-Based Rec., Soil Conserv. Serv., U.S.D.A. Database of the U.S.D.A., Beltsville. http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/1103
Comments: Echinacea simulata occurs primarily in dry, open places in full or partial sun. Habitats include open glades, prairies, and open woodlands, generally over a substrate of dolomite or limestone. This species also may occur at roadsides, generally with a remnant prairie/glade flora.
Flower-Visiting Insects of Glade Coneflower in Illinois
(bees suck nectar or collect pollen, while butterflies & skippers suck nectar; all observations are from Clinebell)
Apidae (Bombini): Bombus pensylvanica
Andrenidae (Andreninae): Andrena helianthiformis cp fq olg
Nymphalidae: Speyeria cybele
Hesperiidae: Pompeius verna, Unidentified spp.
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: Echinacea simulata is a fairly common species across a fairly small range. It is threatened primarily by diggers of its roots for medicinal purposes, but also by fire suppression, encroachment by woody species, rights-of-way maintenance and limestone quarrying.
Global Short Term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Comments: Declining because of woody succession in open habitats, and because of digging for Echinacea root and excessive collection of wild seed.
Comments: Echinacea simulata is threatened by fire suppression, which allows open habitats to close; encroachment of habitat by eastern red cedar and other woody species; herbicide use on railroad rights-of-way; limestone quarries; recreational uses of glades, barrens, and hill prairies; development; and by digging of roots and excessive seed collection for medicinal purposes. In southeastern Missouri, the excessive collection of seed from roadside populations is a pernicious problem (K. McKeown, pers. obs. 1997).
Biological Research Needs: This species (Echinacea simulata) intergrades with Echinacea pallida toward the western portion of its range (McKeown 1999). Resolve taxonomic discrepancies. Note that in Tennessee, most E. pallida populations have now been determined as E. simulata. Other populations east of the Mississippi river should be reexamined.
Echinacea simulata McGregor, Sida. Wavy-leaf purple coneflower or Pale purple coneflower is a species of herbaceous plant in family Asteraceae very much like Echinacea pallida except that it has yellow colored pollen grains. Plants growing 50 to 100 cm tall from taproot like roots fusiform in shape and branched. The foliage and stems with spreading hairs sparsely to densely distributed. The stems are mostly green or purple mottled. The basal leaves with petioles 4–20 cm long and the blades 3 or 5-nerved some leaves with 1 nerve, linear to lanceolate in shape and 5–40 cm long and 0.5–4 cm wide. The leaf bases tapering gradually with leaves having entire margins, usually with ciliate hairs. Normally single flower heads produced on peduncles 20–40+ cm long. Phyllaries or brachs below the flower heads lanceolate to ovate in shape, 7–15 mm wide and 1.5–3.5 mm long. The flowers with paleae 10–14 mm long with pinkish to purple colored tips, incurved and sharp-pointed. Ray corollas normally soft rose to pink colored but also rarely off white. The laminae drooping to reflexed, 40–90 long and 4–7 mm wide, without hairs or sparsely hairy on the undersides. The flower heads conic to hemispheric in shape 20–30 wide and 20–30 mm tall with Disc corollas 5–6.5 mm long, lobes pink to purplish. The seeds are produced in angled fruits called Cypselae that are tan in color and 3–4.5 mm long, with smooth surfaces, normally without hairs. One seed is produced per fruit and the seeds are rounded in shape and gray-tan in color. 
Native from the eastern central states of the United States including Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee were it is found growing in rocky soils on open to wooded hillsides and prairies. Blooming in late spring to midsummer with some blooming into late summer, in the fall goldfinches feed on the seeds they remove from the dried cones.
In the past this species was grouped in with other Echinacea species. Echinacea speciosa McGregor, Trans. Kansas Acad. Sci. 70: 366. 1967, not (Wenderoth) Paxton 1849; Echinacea pallida (Nuttall) Nuttall var. simulata (McGregor) Binns, B. R. Baum & Arnason
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Names and Taxonomy
Comments: Described in monograph by R. L. McGregor (1968), and generally accepted (e.g., Kartesz, 1994 and 1999). It closely resembles Echinacea pallida and intergrades with it toward the western portion of its range (McKeown 1999). Note that in Tennessee, most populations reported as E. pallida have now been determined as E. simulata.