Skip to site navigation

Echinacea purpurea

Home  |  Plants > Plant Selector > Echinacea purpurea

© RHS 1985

Characteristics

Plant type

Herbaceous Perennial

Habit

Clump-forming

Resilience

Hardiness

old H4 (hardy)

Colour

Flower

Brown and Pale Purple in Autumn and Summer

Foliage

Green in Autumn, Spring and Summer

Size

Ultimate height

1-1.5 metres

Ultimate spread

0.1-0.5 metres

Time to ultimate height

2-5 years


Preferred common name

purple cone flower

Family

Asteraceae


Echinacea are erect, clump-forming rhizomatous perennials with simple or pinnately lobed leaves and solitary, long-stalked daisies with prominent conical central disks and often drooping ray florets; attractive to butterflies

E. purpurea is an upright perennial with coarsely hairy, ovate or lance-shaped leaves and solitary flower-heads to 12cm across with slightly reflexed, light purple rays and brown central disk

Other common names

  • black samson
  • eastern purple coneflower
  • hedgehog cone flower
  • purple daisy
  • purple rudbeckia

Synonym(s)

  • Rudbeckia echinacea purpurea
  • Rudbeckia purpurea

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun
  • Part shade

Aspect

  • South-facing, East-facing or West-facing
  • Exposed or Sheltered

Cultivation

Grow in deep, well-drained, humus-rich soil ideally in full sun although they can tolerate some shade

Soil

  • Well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Sand, Loam or Chalk

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown at 13°C in spring. Propagate by division in spring or autumn although they resent a lot of disturbance. Propagate by root cuttings from late autumn to early winter.

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower borders and beds, Cut Flowers, Wildflower meadow, Wildlife Gardens or Prairie Planting


How to care

Pruning

Cut back stems as the blooms fade to encourage further flower production

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

Generally disease free