Echinacea angustifolia (Narrow-leaved Purple Coneflower)
|Also known as:||Black-samson Echinacea|
|Habitat:||sun; dry prairies|
|Bloom season:||June - October|
|Plant height:||1 to 2 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||none|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Flowers are single at the end of a stout hairy stem, with 15 to 20 pink to light purple rays (petals), each ¾ to 1½ inches long and ¼ to 1/3 inch wide, with 3 notched teeth at the tip. Rays grow out and up, drooping down and curving under with maturity. In the center is a large orangish brown disk, round to conical in shape, covered with small brown disk flowers with yellow pollen. A plant typically has 1 to a few flowering stems.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are mostly basal, with stem leaves widely spaced and alternately attached on the lower half of the stem. Lower leaves are long and narrow, to 8 inches long, ½ to 1 inch wide, on long stalks, becoming smaller and stalkless as they ascend the stem. Edges are toothless and there are 3 distinct veins along the length. Stems and leaves are hairy and rough to the touch. Stems may be green or purple tinged.
A native of western sandy prairie, Narrow-leaved Purple Coneflower is not the species typically found in the nursery trade though native seed suppliers often offer it. Some references list this as a western variety of Echinaceae pallida (Pale Purple Coneflower), which has similar leaves but ray petals only about 1/8 inch wide and up to 3 inches long. E. purpurea (Eastern Purple Coneflower) has flowers similar to E. angustifolia but broader and shorter lanceolate leaves all the way up the stem. Of these 3 native coneflowers, only E. angustifolia is native to Minnesota but the other 2 grow well here and are commonly available in the native plant trade. An eastern variant from forest glades of central Tennessee can also be found in the wildflower trade as E. tennesseensis.
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Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Pope County and in a private garden in Anoka County.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?