BLACK-SAMPSON ECHINACEA
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Echinacea angustifolia  DC.
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 6-24 inches
Family: Asteraceae - Sunflower Family
Flowering Period:   June, July
Also Called: Purple coneflower.
Stems: Erect, 1 to several, straight or branched, stiff-hairy, especially above.
Leaves: Alternate, simple, stalked below, sessile above, lanceolate to ovate, 2-12 inches long, 1/2 to 1 1/2 inch wide, progressively smaller above, coarse hairy, prominently 3-veined; margins mostly entire.
Inflorescences: Heads, single, terminal, long-stalked.
Flowers: Bracts lanceolate, 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, overlapping in 3 or 4 series; ray florets 12-20, pink to light purple, 1 to 1 1/2 inch long, 1/4 to 1/3 inch wide, drooping or spreading; disk florets 5-lobed, 1/4 to 1/3 inch long, numerous, brownish purple, interspersed among stiff, spiny-tipped, chaffy bracts; pollen grains yellow.
Fruits: Achenes, small, 4-angled, tipped with crown of short-teeth, enclosing small seed.
Habitat: Dry soils of open, rocky prairies.
Distribution: Throughout except southeast corner.
Uses: Black-sampson echinacea contains pain-reducing compounds and was used by Native Americans to treat toothaches, sore throats, mumps, wounds, and burns.
Comments: Echinacea is from the Greek word for "hedgehog", which is in reference to the spiny bracts of the disk flowers. The taproot can grow to 5-8 feet, allowing the plant to survive periods of drought.

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