This lovely herb is at risk of endangerment in its wild habitat as the direct result of overharvesting!
Many states are taking action to protect what remaining Echinacea populations they have. Organizations like United Plant Savers are trying to encourage the proper cultivation of this medicinal plant. The root of this plant takes three years before able to be harvested. Although the entire plant can be used. Education is needed for sure.
This herb is a perennial and requires full sun and low to moderate moisture. When we moved into our house in the country Echinacea were everywhere. They are so important to the birds, bees, and Herbalists!
They grow in zones 3-9 depending on the species. The pinkish purple flowers bloom from mid to late summer and is a true prairie wildflower that loves wide open grassy areas. I even have white version of this purple cornflower that just appeared.
Seed propagation for all species of Echinacea do better from seeds stratified for at least 3 months. Or stratify naturally, by sowing seeds directly in the late fall or early spring but this is reliable in areas that have consistently cold winters. If sown inside, transplant outside in late winter. Seeds germinate sporadically and average about 50 percent and take 2-6 weeks to sprout. Space about 12 inches apart. Moderate water for E. purpurea and light water for other species.
Benefits of this herb include respiratory help, immune support, colds and flu, and skin conditions. It is an anti-inflammatory. I like to use it in Cranberry Echinacea Tea, tinctures and as a bath herb.