Friday, 12 August 2011

Coneflower Classic

Echinacea purpurea
 The species came to England from the USA in 1699 and was widely grown in cottage gardens as it can be raised from seed.  It has more or less disappeared now to be replaced by hybrids.  The hybrids can be propagated by division, but they don't transplant very well, so it is best to take root cuttings in late winter and sow seed as soon as it's ripe.  The plant has long stems bearing summer flower-heads with rose-pink to purple florets around a central cone.

The rhizome is the most significant proven herbal immune system stimulant and is under investigation by AIDS researchers.  Without toxicity, it stimulates the body's defences against disease.  It is also antibiotic, anti-viral , and restores inflamed connective tissue.  It treats fevers and infections and may reduce allergies.


  1. Love, love, love the coneflower! I had no idea it was from the United States. Very interesting post. I love the orange and pink combination, and also that it blooms so late in the season!

  2. I also am a gardener that just loves coneflowers. They are such a hardy flower and grow in all types of soil. I love that they hold their color for weeks.It is good to know that they may be a healthy plant too.

  3. I never knew that about the rhizomes -- I'd heard echinacea used in many herbal meds and assumed it was the flowers or leaves. You are always so full of information!