South Dakota Native Plant Research
Asteraceae : Echinacea angustifolia

Asteraceae : Echinacea angustifolia


Download Seed: The seed is found inside the achene. (122 KB)

Download Seedling: Seedling of purple coneflower grown in research greenhouse at SDSU. (612 KB)

Download Vegetative: The leaves are entire. (655 KB)

Download Flowering: The heads are almost always solitary. (271 KB)

Download Fruiting: The achenes are 4-5 mm long. (2.3 MB)

Download Stage One: Coneflowers as it starts to flower in early June. (82 KB)

Download Stage Two: Two days after the purple coneflower has started opening to flower. (59 KB)

Download Stage Three: The flower of Echinacea angustifolia two weeks after stage 1 began. (103 KB)

Download Roots of a plant from a common garden study. (818 KB)

Family Name


Common Name

Purple coneflower, Narrow-leaved purple coneflower

Native American Name

Lakota: ičháȟpe hú, uŋglákčap


Echinacea angustifolia is a perennial herb with simple to branched stems which grow 10-60 cm in height. The stems are usually hairy, especially towards the top. The leaves are simple, alternate the margins entire and have 3-5 strong nerves running lengthwise. The lower leaves are petiolate, 5-30 cm long and 1-4 cm wide. The upper leaves becoming sessile and progressively smaller. The inflorescence consists of 1 or more heads, about 1.5 cm across, on long peduncles. The involucral bracts are 6-11 mm long and the conical receptacle 1.5-3 cm tall. The ray flowers have pink to light pink ligules 2-4 cm long and the disk flowers have a purplish corolla 6-8 mm long. The achenes are 4-5 kk long with a papery pappus that looks like a toothed crown. Echinacea angustifolia bloom from June to July on open rocky plains and prairies throughout South Dakota.

Additional Notes

Narrow-leaved purple coneflower is an exceptional plant for patio and rock gardens - butterflies love it. Seedlings planted in the spring need water for a few weeks to allow their roots to become established. After that, they will grow with little or no additional care. In the wild you generally find plants with 1 to a few flowering stems, but in the garden, we have seen more than 60 flowers per plant. In very wet soils we have seen Fusarium wilt, but aster yellows has been the most troublesome disease in Brookings. When selecting a seed source, look near alfalfa fields where leaf hoppers spread the disease. Usually you will find plants that are disease-free and seeds from these plants often produces offspring with some apparent natural resistance. Gloves should be worn when handling plants and seeds, as they often induce irritation of the skin. Echinacea plants contain large amounts of essential oils and many other biologically active compounds.

Horticulture Notes

Seed Collection: Harvest seeds in late fall. Collect seed that falls easily out of the dried flower head. Seed that is hard to remove is usually bad and difficult to germinate.

Germination: Etherol treatment (1mM solution on paper towels in the refrigerator for 2 weeks} or stratification in wet peat moss in plastic bag in refrigerator for two to four months. Cover seeds with plastic to make sure they stay moist, should germinate within two weeks after treatment.

Vegetative Propagation: Plants can be propagated by division of the crowns or root cuttings.

Soils: Prefer well drained soils , but are very tolerant of many soils.

Light: Full sun

Water: Plants and seeds must be well watered until the plants are 1+ years old.

Asteraceae : Echinacea angustifolia