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Coneflower

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The coneflower’s botanical name is Echinacea, which is a group of herbaceous flowering plants in the daisy family.  The generic name is gotten from the Greek word that means echino, or "sea urchin".  The spiny central disk has the appearance of this sea creature.  Coneflowers are found growing in moist to dry prairies and open wooded areas in many parts of North America.   Blooming from early to late summer, these plants display large, colorful heads of composite flowers.  This bright perennial is often used in herbal remedies too.

Coneflowers are easy to care for and should be planted in humus-rich, well-drained soil about 1 to 3 feet apart, depending on the type of coneflower.  This prairie native thrives in full sun, but can take some shade.  An adaptable plant, it is relatively drought-tolerant, but should be watered regularly.  It is best to put a good layer of mulch on the plants in the spring to contain moisture and prevent drying out.  Deadheading the fading blooms prolongs the flowering season; good for cut flowers. There are seeds found in the dried flower head that draws many butterflies and songbirds.

The clumps should be divided In the spring or autumn every 3-4 years.  Coneflowers are an excellent, long blooming plant that works well when planted in flower masses.  Use in borders, native plant gardens, wildflower gardens, or part shade area of woodland garden.  Coneflowers provide a stunning site when mass planted with black-eyed Susans (rudebeckias).

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