The purple coneflower has a wide variety of interactions with different organisms.  Several birds and insects, particularly different types of bees and butterflies, have a mutualistic relationship with this plant.  Bees and butterflies feed on the sweet nectar of the purple coneflower which in return, disperses the pollen seeds for the flower to reproduce.  To learn about a particular type of bee, the Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee, click here

Birds (mostly finches) enjoy eating the seeds from the purple coneflower.  This is a mutualistic relationship because the bird gets to eat the seeds and the purple coneflower gets to spread their seeds via the bird's feces.  To learn about another type of bird, the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, click here.

The purple coneflower has very few predators; however two of the more harmful predators are slugs and humans.  Slugs can eat any type of vegetation, but prefer tender leaves like the purple coneflower’s leaves.  To learn about a relative of a slug, the Ramshorn Snail, click here.

Humans are the primary predator to Echinacea purpurea not because humans eat it, but they use this plant for aThis is a picture I took. variety of things.  Several studies have suggested that Echinacea purpurea contains many substances that enhances the activity of the immune system, relieves pain, and reduces inflammation.  Echinacea purpurea also has many hormonal, antiviral, and antioxidant effects which is why some professionals may suggest this plan
t to treat different medical problems such as urinary tract infections, yeast infections, ear infections, athlete’s foot, and hay fever.  This plant was used by Native Americans since the early 1800’s as an herb to treat sick and injured people.    To learn more about the Tea Plant, another organism used in herbs, click here.  

Click here to learn some facts about Echinacea purpurea.