Purple coneflower is a Missouri native plant which occurs in rocky open woods and prairies throughout the State. Large, daisy-like flowers with slightly drooping, rose purple petals (ray flowers) and large, coppery-orange central cones. Long summer bloom period. Best flower display is late June to late July, with sporadic continued bloom into autumn. Flowers grow on rigid stems typically to 3′ tall (less frequently to 5′). Dark green leaves (4-8″ long) are lance-shaped and coarsely-toothed. Good fresh cut or dried flower. The dead flower stems will remain erect well into the winter and, if flower heads are not removed, are often visited by goldfinches who perch on or just below the blackened cones to feed on the seeds. Echinacea comes from the Greek word “echinos” meaning hedgehog in reference to the spiny center cone.