Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) has a fibrous root system with short woody rhizomes. It is a drought-tolerant perennial that is also deer resistant. Plains Indians used the root to treat rattlesnake bites, bee stings, headaches, toothaches, sore throats, and distemper in horses. Coneflowers are still widely used today in pharmaceutical preparations.
The flowers are a golden red to purple and may release a slight fragrance in strong sunlight. They are much-loved by bees and is a host plant for the Ottoe Skipper. Blooms appear June-September and some Purple Coneflowers may re-bloom in the fall. Echinacea purpurea matures to 4′ in height. The preference is full or partial sun, and moist to medium conditions. Growth is best in fertile loam, but the soil can contain some gravel or clay. Common names are Narrow-leaved Purple Coneflower, Sampson Root, Red Sunflower, and simply, Echinacea.