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Manitoba Museum

Aster (Asteraceae)

Purple Coneflower

Echinacea angustifolia DC.

The attractive flowers of this prairie plant provide nectar and pollen to bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Their fruits, seeds, and vegetative parts are also eaten by animals. Purple Coneflower has been used by Indigenous peoples for food, medicinal, and other purposes. It is still used widely today as an herbal remedy. Wild populations are in decline due to loss of habitat and over-harvesting.

Flower Colour:

  • Purple

Flowering Season:

  • Summer

Flowering Months:

  • August
  • July
  • June

Canadian Rarity Status:

Listed as “sensitive” throughout its range.

Physical Appearance:

The hairy stems of this perennial grow to 90 cm tall. Its 10-17 alternate leaves occur in the lower half of the stem, are lance-shaped, and covered with stiff hairs. Flowering heads (3.5 – 8 cm wide) occur on long stalks. There are 16–19, drooping outer ray flowers tipped with 2-3 teeth. The numerous inner disc flowers bloom from the outside in, are 5-lobed, and have a pointy bract. Fruits are small, dark, 4-angled achenes, each with a single seed.

Gardening Notes:

Seeds and/or plants may be available from greenhouses and seed supply companies specializing in native plants. Can be propagated by seed, or by division of crowns. Good addition to a butterfly garden.

Canadian Distribution:

  • Manitoba
  • Saskatchewan

Prairie Types:

  • Fescue Prairie
  • Mixed Grass Prairie


  • Meadows
  • Open Woodlands
  • Prairies
  • Savannahs

Moisture Conditions:

  • Dry
  • Moderate

Light Preference:

  • Full Sun

Soil Preference:

  • Clay
  • Loam
  • Sand
Purple Coneflower