Purple Coneflower
(Echinacea purpurea)

Purple coneflower is found all over Missouri and Kansas; it flourishes in the dry soil of open rocky pastures.  The taproot can go down five to eight feet, allowing the plant to survive during periods of drought.

Echinacea is from the Greek word meaning hedgehog and refers to the spiny bristles of the disk flowers.  Birds, especially the Meadow Lark, are attracted to the seeds of purple coneflower.

Purple coneflower was used by Native Americans to treat toothaches, sore throats, mumps, wounds and burns.  The root contains pain-reducing compounds; chewing a small portion will numb the tongue.