The Coneflower Echinacea for Winter Health

| June 22, 2019 | 0 Comments

Since I have been on a journey to develop this website, I have learnt a lot of interesting things about nature. And here is another something that I learnt. Did you know that the coneflower is actually the plant that Echinacea comes from? I learnt that about 3 days ago. How did I not know that? I have no idea.

The coneflower is a striking plant in the garden that flowers from midsummer to autumn. The flowers are daisy like and bold in their beauty. They are great as a cut flower because they bring beauty inside the home. I’ve learnt that the coneflower is native to north-eastern North America and it grows on the prairies and open woodland areas.

Characteristics of the coneflower

Field of Coneflowers

The coneflower is a hardy vigorous upright perennial that grows to a height of 120cm. It grows large daisy like magenta or purple flower heads. These flower heads have prickly orange central cones and lance shaped leaves.

There are 9 species of coneflower but the 3 main ones are Echinacea purpurea, E. pallida and E. angustifolia.

Just a quick history lesson

The name comes from the Greek echinos, meaning hedgehog or sea urchin because the coneflowers have a prickly center. This plant has a long history with the native Americans as the tribes used to use the plant in their herbal medicines.

Coneflower growing tips

The coneflower can be grown from seeds or you can divide the roots in spring or autumn. This plant prefers full sunlight in cooler climates or dappled afternoon shade in places with hot summers. This hardy plant can survive very cold winters as it becomes dormant in winter and will re-merge in spring. You should spread good compost over the plants when dormant.

Harvesting time

Coneflowers in the garden

You should dig the plants up in autumn to harvest the roots. If you end up with skinny pieces with root systems replant them as they will be perfect for next year.

How to use Echinacea

Medically Echinacea is one of the most commonly used extracts. The coneflower has been grown and used in the herbal garden for years. In Germany the liquid extract is often referred to as the ‘resistance drops’ which is an indication of the powerful immune stimulating effect of Echinacea during the winter months. For all problems relating to bacterial, fungal or viral infections Echinacea should be your first choice.

Make teas or tinctures and take regularly during the winter months to help your immune system. Echinacea can also be made into a cream that can be used on cuts and grazes applying as required.

Butterflies love this plant so that is a great reason to plant as many coneflowers as you can. As always love what you grow, enjoy.

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Category: Herb Gardens

About the Author ()

Hi my name Tanya and I am a lover of growing all things in the garden. Its the one place I feel at peace and can rest my soul. From my earliest childhood memory I have always loved the garden. So I hope to be able to pass on some of the information, tips, tricks and of course my passion for Gardening. Love what you grow. Enjoy.

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