Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) is a popular perennial belonging to the aster family that grows across a large swath of the United States. It is distinct with smooth, 2-5 ft. stems and long-lasting flowers with bright lavender-pink petals surrounding a dome-shaped, brown center with spiny centers. Rough, scattered leaves become smaller toward the top of the stem. A single flowers tops its stems. Purple coneflower is easy to grow and reseeds freely.
The flowers of Echinacea species are used in herbal teas, purported to help strengthen the immune system. Planted en masse or as accents in mixed flower gardens, purple coneflowers are showy, easy identifiable plants. They attract butterflies and bees. Be aware that many fancy cultivars of purple coneflower lack pollen and features that attract pollinators. The original native species and specific cultivars like "Magnus" are pollinator-friendly plants. Learn more about purple coneflowers from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.