Friday, July 17, 2015

Plant of the week - Echinacea angustifolia

Thought I'd post a prairie flower from the pastures here once a week.  I started this on my Face Book page and thought why not on the "A Tallgrass Journal" blog?!- Last week was Echinacea - most people recognize purple coneflowers, well this one is native to our county and some surrounding counties in NW Iowa - this one is Echinacea angustifolia - Narrow-leaved Purple Coneflower - not to be mistaken as Pale Purple Coneflower or Echinacea pallida (which we also have here). Your common garden variety - Echinacea purpurea is not native here - don't plant it in native settings, keep it in your yard.

Most sources do attribute the Echinacea pallida to being native in NW Iowa, so there's sometimes a question as to what you are seeing.  The easiest visible difference is the longer/narrow "rays" (some folks think of them as petals) on the E. pallida...these rays also droop much more.  Also the E. pallida is much taller - I've seen it regularly at 3-4 feet or slightly taller, whereas the E. angustifolia is much shorter (2-2.5 feet) with short rays.

Curiously, I have never seen E. pallida on a native prairie here in NW Iowa - just on reconstructed prairie or roadside plantings.  The native pasture here had E. angustifolia originally as did the native prairies in the county's SE corner.

I actually think that our Narrow-leaved Purple Coneflower would make a great graden plant too!

Thanks for stopping by - see you on the Tallgrass!

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