Echinacea angustifolia (an-gus-ti-FO-lee- a), narrow-leaved coneflower
Size: 1 to 2 feet tall and wide. A compact coneflower with spare, lance-shaped basal leaves with stiff hairs and mostly leafless stems topped by 2-inch heads with short (1-inch) drooping rose-pink rays. USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 3 (possibly 2) to 8.
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E. pallida (PAL-i-da), pale purple coneflower
Size: 3 to 4 feet tall, 1 to 2 feet wide. A sparsely branching plant with stout, nearly leafless stems topped with large heads of drooping pale rose rays. The basal leaves are lance-shaped and covered in stiff hairs. E. laevigata, smooth coneflower, is similar but has smooth leaves. Zones 4 to 8.
E. paradoxa (par-a-DOX-a), yellow coneflower
Size: 2½ to 3 feet tall, 1 to 2 feet wide. This is an unusual coneflower in that its rays are bright yellow. The plants grow in tight, multistemmed clumps with mostly basal leaves. The leaves are broadly lance-shaped. An important plant in current breeding programs. Zones 4 to 8.
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E. purpurea (pur-pew-REE-a), purple coneflower
Size: 2 to 4 feet tall (rarely to 6 feet), 2 to 3 feet wide. A shrubby, wellbranched plant with leafy stems and dozens of flowers with flat or drooping rose-pink to red-violet rays. Bright Star is a graceful selection with mostly flat rosepink flower heads. Kim's Knee High is an excellent compact selection to 2½ feet with large heads of gracefully drooping rays. Kim's Mop Head is white. Magnus has huge, flat flower heads. Springbrook's Crimson Star has delicate, deep crimson flowers on sturdy 3-foot stems. One of the best. White Lustre has larger, brighter white flowers than Alba and White Swan. Zones 3 to 8.
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E. tennesseensis (ten-e-see-EN-sis), Tennessee coneflower
Size: 1 to 3 feet tall, 1 to 2 feet wide. The upswept rays of this species make it unique among coneflowers; the overall impression is of a rose-purple cup. This species has contributed its unique form to many new hybrids that will be released in the future. Zones 4 to 8.