A traditional Native American medicinal herb, Echinacea is well-known to modern American and European herbalists today. Nine Echinacea species are native to the U.S. Of these, Echinacea purpurea is the easiest to grow and most adaptable to various locations. The genus name comes from the Greek word for hedgehog, referring to the spiny appearance of the flower’s cone-shaped center. It is within this orange center that the seeds form and mature. We wait to harvest the seed crop until after the “cones” start to turn black in the fall.
Echinacea is antibiotic, antiviral and stimulates the immune system. This lovely perennial grows 3-4 feet tall and attracts bumblebees and butterflies. Echinacea provides medicinal roots, leaves and flowers. It usually flowers in its second summer, dies back in winter and returns each spring. This is not a hybrid Echinacea, and will produce plants true to the native type from seeds. We have been growing this important medicinal for our own use and for seeds for over fifteen years.
Seed Sowing: Sow seeds in pots indoors in early spring, and transplant to a sunny, well-drained garden spot in early summer. This Echinacea seed does not need any cold treatment prior to germination. January 2012 germ tests at a temperature of 70-80 degrees provided by a propagation heat mat gave 95% germination in 7 days. At cooler temperatures, 2-3 weeks to germ is more common.
Seed Saving: Seeds are ready when the petals fade and the cones begin to blacken. Cut the flower stalks and dry indoors. Seeds fall out of the cones with a bit of rubbing. Best seed storage is cool, dry and dark.
Please save your seeds of this herb which is at risk in the wild and pass it on.
FREE gift packet of Echinacea purpurea seeds to our Poppy Swap customers in April with our thanks!
Sharing is Oneness,
In Plants We Trust