Echinacea purpurea is perhaps one of the hardiest plants scientists have come across.  Although the purple coneflower prefers well-drained soils, it has the ability to tolerate the hot summer sun and the dry, droughty soil.  This unique plant blooms in mid-summer and is a perennial plant, meaning it is present at all seasons of the year.  One advantage of being a perennial plant is that it does not have to live in the wintertime, where conditions are cold and very harsh.  To learn about Alfalfa, another perennial plant, click here

 The purple coneflower is a large, upright stemmed plant that has had several adaptations over time.  They have developed petals that are swept back and are symmetrically arranged around the center cone, making the process of photosynthesisis more efficient.  The purple coneflower’s roots are upright, making capillary action and water absorption much easier. The center cone is tough and prickly, giving it the name Echinus which is Latin for hedgehog, a prickly little animal that has the ability to roll up into a ball.  Click here to continue on to nutrition.