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Echinacea purpurea: origin, effect and science

Colds and influenza infections: well protected with the purple coneflower

The purple coneflower, Echinacea purpurea, like its eight sister species, originates in eastern and central North America. This tall plant bears conical or rounded flower heads whose mainly orange or reddish tubiflora call to mind the little spines of hedgehogs. This is also the origin of the botanical name Echinacea, derived from the Greek “echinos” meaning sea urchin. These little hedgehog heads are surrounded by an aureole of tongued-shaped petals, often gently hanging, which range in colour from the brightest rose through glowing pink to dark purple, in striking contrast to the dark-green leaves. Also known as the globe daisy or hedgehog coneflower, this composite is often described as the purple coneflower in order to differentiate it from its close relative, the typically yellow-blooming rudbeckia.

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