(Photos and story by Diane De Luca)
Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) is a native perennial that is a favorite in pollinator gardens. Each daisy-like flower head has florets that surround a central core of orange disk florets. The rays tend to drop as they age.
The coneflower is an excellent nectar source for butterflies but also attractive to bees, flies, and moths. The flower heads persist into the early fall making them both a beautiful and valuable addition to your garden.
The cone is like a spiky pincushion. The genus name Echinacea, which comes from the Greek word for hedgehog, derived from this characteristic. The seeds are a favorite of the American Goldfinch.