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Plant of the Month: Echinacea

By Barbara Boone

Echinacea Townsley

Echinacea, perennials belonging to the daisy Asteraceae family, are commonly known as coneflowers and originated as a native plant in North American prairies, which may explain why they are so hardy and require little maintenance. Usually seen as purple in the species purpurea, coneflowers can now be found in white, yellow, orange, peach, and red. The feature which distinguishes a coneflower is the rounded spiny cone on top of its petals. Coneflowers thrive in 6-8 hours of sunlight daily, have long bloom times, require minimal fertilizer (usually in early spring), and are drought resistant. Coneflowers enhance gardens, and pollinators are especially attracted to the purple color.

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