Herbs & Plants

Echinacea pallida

Botanical Name: Echinacea pallida
Family: Asteraceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales
Genus: Echinacea
Species: E. pallida

*Rudbeckia pallida Nutt.
*Brouneria pallida Britton

Common Name: Cone Flower, Pale purple coneflower

Habitat: Echinacea pallida is native to North America – Michigan to Nebraska and south to Texas. It grows on dry soils on prairies and barrens. Sandy open woods and prairies in Texas.

Echinacea pallida is a perennial plant. It is similar to E. angustifolia, but plants often grow taller, ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 ft (45 to 75 cm) tall, with some growing 3 ft (90 cm) or more tall. Plants normally grow with one unbranched stem in the wild, but often produce multi-stemmed clumps in gardens. They have deep taproots that are spindle shaped, wider in the center and narrowing at the ends. Stems are green or mottled with purple and green. The leaves are elongated lanceolate or linear-lanceolate with three veins. Flower head rays are narrow, linear, elongated, and drooping, ranging from 1 to 3 inches (2.5 to 7.6 cm) long. It is in flower from August to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects. The flower heads are from 3?4 to 3 inches (1.9 to 7.6 cm) wide with pale rose-purple or nearly white ray florets. The flowers have white pollen. Echinacea pallida blooms from May into July. The fruits are cypselae and are tan or bi-colored with angled edges.


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Through seeds- sow March/April in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Diurnal temperature fluctuations aid germination. The seed usually germinates in 10 – 21 days at 25°c. 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. Division in spring or autumn. 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.

Edible Uses: Not known to us.

Medicinal Uses:
Plants in this genus were probably the most frequently used of N. American Indian herbal remedies, though this species is considered to be less active than E. angustifolia. They had a very wide range of applications and many of these uses have been confirmed by modern science. The plant has a general stimulatory effect on the immune system and is widely used in modern herbal treatments. 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. In Germany over 200 pharmaceutical preparations are made from Echinacea. The roots and the whole plant are considered particularly beneficial in the treatment of sores, wounds, burns etc, possessing cortisone-like and antibacterial activity. The plant was used by N. American Indians as a universal application to treat the bites and stings of all types of insects. An infusion of the plant was also used to treat snakebites. The plant is adaptogen, alterative, antiseptic, depurative, diaphoretic, digestive, sialagogue. It is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. 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 for critics of commission E).

Other Uses: Not known to us.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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