Pale Purple Coneflower
Pale Purple Coneflower

Pale Purple Coneflower

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Echinacea pallida

Exposure: Sun-partial
Soil: Dry-medium
Height: 3-4'
Bloom: June-July

Notable features: Should be planted in well-drained soil in full to partial sunlight. Most native coneflowers dislike soil that is kept excessively moist or has poor drainage and they will start to rot in these situations. Once the taproot is established it is extremely drought-tolerant and needs little care, but then also may be difficult to move. Pale Purple Coneflower grows up to 3' feet tall and has very pale purple to pink flowers. A true McHenry County native purple coneflower (its cousin, Echinacea purpurea, is technically not native to McHenry County, but is native to neighboring counties). It needs competition or will get leggy and floppy, so plant it densely with finely textured prairie grasses like little bluestem or prairie dropseed. Gorgeous.

Attracts: Long-tongued bees, butterflies, and skippers are the most important visitors to the flowers. Among the long-tongued bees, are such visitors as bumblebees, Nomadine cuckoo bees, large carpenter bees, and leaf-cutting bees. Short-tongued green metallic bees and other Halictine bees also visit the flowers occasionally. The caterpillars of the butterfly Chlosyne nycteis (Silvery Checkerspot) feed on the foliage, while caterpillars of the moths Synchlora aerata (Wavy-Lined Emerald) and Eupithecia miserulata (Common Eupithecia) feed on the flowerheads. Goldfinches occasionally eat the seeds.