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Echinacea purpurea - (L.)Moench.                
                 
Common Name Echinacea
Family Asteraceae or Compositae
Synonyms Brauneria purpurea. Echinacea intermedia. Echinacea serotina. Rudbeckia purpurea.
Known Hazards Possible suppression of immunity with habitual use. High doses over 1000 mg may cause dizziness. Use of herb for 10-14 days recommended followed by a short break.
Habitats Dry open woods, prairies and barrens[43].
Range N. America - Virginia to Ohio and Michigan, south to Georgia and Louisiana.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of flower
Echinacea purpurea is a PERENNIAL growing to 1.2 m (4ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in).
It is hardy to zone 3 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

USDA hardiness zone : Coming soon


Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Echinacea purpurea Echinacea


Echinacea purpurea Echinacea
   
Habitats       
 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses:

Leaves[160]. No more details are given.
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Adaptogen;  Alterative;  Antiseptic;  Aphrodisiac;  Depurative;  Digestive;  Sialagogue.

Echinacea is considered to be the most effective detoxicant in Western herbal medicine for the circulatory, lymphatic and respiratory systems[238, 254]. Its use has also been adopted by Ayurvedic medicine[238]. Plants in this genus were probably the most frequently used of N. American Indian herbal remedies. They had a very wide range of applications and many of these uses have been confirmed by modern science. This species is the most easily cultivated of the genus and so has been more generally adopted for its medicinal uses[238]. The plant has a general stimulatory effect on the immune system and is widely used in modern herbal treatments[222]. In Germany over 200 pharmaceutical preparations are made from Echinacea[222]. There has been some doubt over the ability of the body to absorb the medicinally active ingredients orally (intravenous injections being considered the only effective way to administer the plant), but recent research has demonstrated significant absorption from orally administered applications[222]. The roots and the whole plant are considered particularly beneficial in the treatment of sores, wounds, burns etc, possessing cortisone-like and antibacterial activity[222]. The plant was used by N. American Indians as a universal application to treat the bites and stings of all types of insects[213]. An infusion of the plant was also used to treat snakebites[213]. The root is adaptogen, alterative, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, depurative, diaphoretic, digestive, sialagogue[4, 21, 61, 160, 165, 213]. It is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use[238]. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Echinacea for common cold, cough and bronchitis, fevers and cold, urinary tract infections, inflammation of the mouth and pharynx, increase resistance to infection, wounds and burns (see [302] for critics of commission E).
Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details                                         
Prefers a deep rich loam with plenty of leafmold[1] and a sunny position[175]. Succeeds in dry soils and tolerates drought once it is established[160]. Prefers a good light soil[187]. A very ornamental plant, there are some named varieties[187]. Slugs love this plant[K].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - sow March/April in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed[175, K]. Diurnal temperature fluctuations aid germination[175]. The seed usually germinates in 10 - 21 days at 25°c[175]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for the first summer. Plant them out in the late spring or early summer of the following year and give them some protection from slugs at least until they are established[K]. Division in spring or autumn[111]. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring. Root cuttings, October in a frame[200].
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
(L.)Moench.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
43200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[4]Grieve. A Modern Herbal.
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
[21]Lust. J. The Herb Book.
Lots of information tightly crammed into a fairly small book.
[43]Fernald. M. L. Gray's Manual of Botany.
A bit dated but good and concise flora of the eastern part of N. America.
[61]Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
[111]Sanders. T. W. Popular Hardy Perennials.
A fairly wide range of perennial plants that can be grown in Britain and how to grow them.
[160]Natural Food Institute, Wonder Crops. 1987.
Fascinating reading, this is an annual publication. Some reports do seem somewhat exaggerated though.
[165]Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism.
An excellent small herbal.
[175]Bird. R. (Editor) Focus on Plants. Volume 5. (formerly 'Growing from seed')
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. A good article on Corydalis spp.
[187]Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Perennials Volumes 1 and 2.
Photographs of over 3,000 species and cultivars of ornamental plants together with brief cultivation notes, details of habitat etc.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[213]Weiner. M. A. Earth Medicine, Earth Food.
A nice book to read though it is difficult to look up individual plants since the book is divided into separate sections dealing with the different medicinal uses plus a section on edible plants. Common names are used instead of botanical.
[222]Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America.
A concise book dealing with almost 500 species. A line drawing of each plant is included plus colour photographs of about 100 species. Very good as a field guide, it only gives brief details about the plants medicinal properties.
[238]Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
[254]Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants
An excellent guide to over 500 of the more well known medicinal herbs from around the world.
[302]From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Commission E
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commission_E

Readers comment                                         
 
Elizabeth H.
Al D. Sun Dec 29 17:28:36 2002
I have found it to be *very* drought tolerant. I think this is due to the plant's deep roots.

Link: Michigan State University Horticultural Department web site Describes the plant's preferences and also describes 8 different cultivars of this species

Elizabeth H.
Sun Nov 2 2008
The statement,"Note: please don't expect a quick...."etc. is not a question. So it doesn't need a question mark. So someone who created this site's not paying attention. Doesn't exactly inspire confidence!
Elizabeth H.
Waqas Ahmed Wed Nov 19 2008

Agrarian Online Latest info about agriculture

Elizabeth H.
Lawler Barnes Sun May 31 2009

Nature Abhors a Garden Nature abhors a Garden for 11/02/08 discusses what happens when an herb is reintroduced and many aren’t aware of the experiences of 19th century users.

Elizabeth H.
daniel Wed Nov 18 2009
como obtengo las semillas ?'
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Subject : Echinacea purpurea  
             

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