RBGS FloraAeonium arboreum subsp. holochrysum Broadleaf Sugarbush (Protea eximia) Glandular Globe Thistle (Echinops sphaerocephalus) Grass Tree (Xanthorrhoea media) Jade Vine (Strongylodon macrobotrys) Koko (Soehrensia formosa) Lavender Queen (Leptospermum rotundifolium) Nepenthes mixta x maxima Orchids Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) Sago Cycad (Cycas revoluta) St Johns Wort (Hypericum oblongifolium) Spider Hibiscus / Japanese Lantern (Hibiscus schizopetalus) Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis)

Echinacea purpurea is an herbaceous perennial that can grow up to 120 cm in height. It is an unmistakable and striking flower, with a cone-shaped flowering head, that is usually purple, although colour can vary.

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), Royal Botanic Garden Sydney NSW
Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), Royal Botanic Garden Sydney NSW

Native to eastern North America, it is known by a number of common names including Purple Coneflower, Eastern Purple Coneflower, Hedgehog Coneflower, Echinacea White Swan and just as Echinacea.

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), Royal Botanic Garden Sydney NSW
Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), Royal Botanic Garden Sydney NSW

The individual flowers (florets) within the flower head are hermaphroditic, having both male and female organs. You can often see pollinating insects visiting the flowers, especially bees and butterflies.

Apis mellifera on Echinacea purpurea, The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney NSW
Apis mellifera on Echinacea purpurea, The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney NSW
Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), Royal Botanic Garden Sydney NSW
Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), Royal Botanic Garden Sydney NSW

There is the white variety of Echinacea purpurea, known as Echinacea ‘White Swan’.

Echinacea White Swan (Echinacea purpurea) and Apis mellifera, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney NSW
Echinacea White Swan (Echinacea purpurea), Royal Botanic Garden Sydney NSW

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Phylum: Tracheophyta
  • Subphylum: Angiospermae
  • Class: Magnoliopsida
  • Order: Asterales
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • Subfamily: Asteroideae
  • Tribe: Heliantheae
  • Subtribe: Zinniinae
  • Genus: Echinacea
  • Species: Echinacea purpurea

Footnote & References

  1. The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, https://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/
  2. Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), iNaturalistAU, https://inaturalist.ala.org.au/taxa/48627-Echinacea-purpurea
  3. Echinacea purpurea, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echinacea_purpurea

RBGS FloraAeonium arboreum subsp. holochrysum Broadleaf Sugarbush (Protea eximia) Glandular Globe Thistle (Echinops sphaerocephalus) Grass Tree (Xanthorrhoea media) Jade Vine (Strongylodon macrobotrys) Koko (Soehrensia formosa) Lavender Queen (Leptospermum rotundifolium) Nepenthes mixta x maxima Orchids Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) Sago Cycad (Cycas revoluta) St Johns Wort (Hypericum oblongifolium) Spider Hibiscus / Japanese Lantern (Hibiscus schizopetalus) Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis)

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