Friday, June 22, 2012

Echinacea Blooms Brighten up the World's Gardens #gardenchat

Eastern Purple Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea blooms brighten up the world's herb gardens. The photo above was taken today in our garden. Some of my personal favorite perennials are members of the Aster family. There are 9 species of Echinacea. The cheery blooms come in a wide variety of colors too; birds, especially goldfinches, and butterflies, just love it.

Echinacea is hardy to USDA zones 2a to 9b. The USDA lists Echinacea as an endangered species in Florida. Our east coast native, pink blooming Echinacea grows back for us every year in South Jersey as a carefree perennial.

Dave's Garden lists over one hundred cultivars (types) of Echinacea. Surely you can find a coneflower in a height and color perfect for your garden.

Echinacea for Cold Prevention
Echinacea has been sold in health food stores for many years. In fact, I sold it too in my store years ago. Common and popular Echinacea products today include: herbal Echinacea teas, throat lozenges, root extracts, and Echinacea tablets and capsules. Many products often combine Echinacea purpurea with other species, such as E. angustifolia, as well as with other natural, immune boosting ingredients such as zinc, spirulina or vitamin C.

Clinical studies have been variable in their statistically significant results proving the effectiveness of Echinacea purpurea in preventing rhinovirus colds. 
Related Links

Cultivars of Echinacea Dave's Garden Plant Files
Echinacea University of Maryland Medical Center 
Echinacea MedicinePlus, NIH
Photo and blog post Copyright(C)2012 Wind. All Rights Reserved.

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