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Plant Profile: Echinacea

Excerpt from Wikipedia: Echinacea is a herbaceous flowering plant in the daisy family. It has ten species, which are commonly called coneflowers. They're found only in eastern and central North America, where they grow in moist to dry prairies and open wooded areas. They have large, showy heads of composite flowers, blooming in summer. The generic name is derived from the Greek word ekhinos, meaning "sea urchin", due to the spiny central disk.

These flowering plants and their parts have different uses. Some species are cultivated in gardens for their showy flowers. Two of the species, E. tennesseensis and E. laevigata, are listed in the United States as endangered species.

Size: 3 to 4 feet tall.

Uses: Supplement for common cold, topical ointment, teas, and tinctures.

Companions: Butterfly weed, black eyed susan, lupine, hardy geranium, bee balm, phlox, coreopsis, goldenrod, sedums, salvia, baby’s breath, Russian sage, and catmint.

Habitat: Prairies and open wooded areas, native to the Great Plains region.

Harvest: Harvest roots from a 2–3-year-old plant once it has established a taproot or cut above a node after flowering.

Fun Fact: Used by Native Americans from the Great Plains region as a traditional folk medicine.

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