231 views 1-30-2012
Nikon P100-texture in Picnik-ISO 160
This was taken in an open field in Cedarburg, WI…
next to an old abandon building
Featured in “Wild Flowers of North America” 12-3-2011
Echinacea is a genus of nine species of herbaceous plants in the family Asteraceae which are commonly called purple coneflowers. All are endemic to eastern and central North America, where they are found growing in moist to dry prairies and open wooded areas. They have large, showy heads of composite flowers, blooming from early to late summer. The genus name is from the Greek echino, meaning “spiny,” due to the spiny central disk. Some species are used in herbal medicines and some are cultivated in gardens for their showy flowers. A few species are of conservation concern. Like all asteraceae, the flowering structure is a composite inflorescence, with purple (rarely yellow or white) florets arranged in a prominent, somewhat cone-shaped head — “cone-shaped” because the petals of the outer ray florets tend to point downward (are reflexed) once the flower head opens, thus forming a cone. Plants are generally long lived, with distinctive flowers. The common name “cone flower” comes from the characteristic center “cone” at the center of the flower. The genus name Echinacea is rooted in the Greek word “echinos”, meaning hedge hog, it references the spiky appearance and feel of the flower heads. The Echinacea plant also reseeds in the fall. New flowers will grow where seeds have fallen from the prior year.