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Visitor on a Coneflower

Larry Trupp

Winnipeg, Canada

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Featured in The World As We See It, Or As You Missed It …28 March 2011

Captured last summer in the English gardens, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Canon XTi, w Sigma 150mm F2.8 Macro Lens, Aperture 5.6, Shutter Speed 1/500 ISO 400

Echinacea purpurea ‘Maxima’

Echinacea is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants in the daisy family, Asteraceae. The nine species it contains are commonly called purple coneflowers. They 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 generic name is derived from the Greek word ἐχῖνος (echino), meaning “hedgehog,” 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.
Echinacea species are herbaceous, drought-tolerant perennial plants growing up to 140 cm in height. They grow from taproots, except E. purpurea, which grows from a short caudice with fibrous roots. They have erect stems that in most species are unbranched. Both the basal and cauline leaves are arranged alternately. The leaves are normally hairy with a rough texture, having uniseriate trichomes (1-4 rings of cells) but sometimes they lack hairs. The basal leaves and the lower stem leaves have petioles, and as the leaves progress up the stem the petioles often decrease in length. The leaf blades in different species may have one, three or five nerves. Some species have linear to lanceolate shaped leaves, and others have elliptic- to ovate-shaped leaves; often the leaves decrease in size as they progress up the stems. Leaf bases gradually increase in width away from the petioles or the bases are rounded to heart shaped. Most species have leaf margins that are entire, but sometimes they are dentate or serrate. The flowers are collected together into single rounded heads that terminate long peduncles. The inflorescences have crateriform to hemispheric shaped involucres which are 12–40 mm wide

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