Coneflowers, also known as Echinacea, are tough little native flowers that draw butterflies, bees, and birds to the garden! Here’s how to grow this American native—and important tips on plant care, from deadheading to cutting back in June.
Bright, upright plants, coneflowers are a North American perennial in the Daisy family (Asteraceae). Specifically, the plant is native to the eastern United States, from Iowa and Ohio south to Louisiana and Georgia. They grow 2 to 4 feet in height with dark green foliage. They are fast growers and self-sow their seeds profusely. These midsummer bloomers can flower from midsummer through fall frost!
Their genus name Echinacea comes from the Latin name for hedgehog, echinus, referring to the often prickly lower stem of the plant. Coneflowers have raised cone-like centers (hence, their name) which contain seeds that attract butterflies. Leave the seed heads after bloom and you’ll also attract songbirds such as goldfinches!
Trouble-free coneflowers are drought-tolerant once established. They can take the heat! As native plants with prickly stems, they are more deer-resistant than most flowering plants, too.
The most common species available to gardeners is Echinacea purpurea, the purple coneflower. If purple doesn’t pair well with your garden’s color palette, don’t fret: coneflowers can be found in a range of bright or subdued colors.
Coneflowers are at home in a traditional garden or a wildflower meadow; they are striking when planted in masses, especially as a mix of various colors.