Echinacea angustifolia (Narrow-leaved Purple Coneflower)

Plant Info
Also known as: Black-samson Echinacea
Family:Asteraceae (Aster)
Life cycle:perennial
Habitat:sun; dry prairies
Bloom season:June - October
Plant height:1 to 2 feet
Wetland Indicator Status:none
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

Pick an image for a larger view. See the glossary for icon descriptions.

Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 7+petals

[photo of flowers] Flowers are single at the end of a stout hairy stem, with 15 to 20 pink to light purple rays (petals), each ¾ to 1½ inches long and ¼ to 1/3 inch wide, with 3 notched teeth at the tip. Rays grow out and up, drooping down and curving under with maturity. In the center is a large orangish brown disk, round to conical in shape, covered with small brown disk flowers with yellow pollen. A plant typically has 1 to a few flowering stems.

Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf attachment: basal Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] Leaves are mostly basal, with stem leaves widely spaced and alternately attached on the lower half of the stem. Lower leaves are long and narrow, to 8 inches long, ½ to 1 inch wide, on long stalks, becoming smaller and stalkless as they ascend the stem. Edges are toothless and there are 3 distinct veins along the length. Stems and leaves are hairy and rough to the touch. Stems may be green or purple tinged.


A native of western sandy prairie, Narrow-leaved Purple Coneflower is not the species typically found in the nursery trade though native seed suppliers often offer it. Some references list this as a western variety of Echinaceae pallida (Pale Purple Coneflower), which has similar leaves but ray petals only about 1/8 inch wide and up to 3 inches long. E. purpurea (Eastern Purple Coneflower) has flowers similar to E. angustifolia but broader and shorter lanceolate leaves all the way up the stem. Of these 3 native coneflowers, only E. angustifolia is native to Minnesota but the other 2 grow well here and are commonly available in the native plant trade. An eastern variant from forest glades of central Tennessee can also be found in the wildflower trade as E. tennesseensis.

Native Plant Nurseries, Restoration and Landscaping Services ↓

Map of native plant resources in the upper midwest

  • ReWild Native Gardens
  • Shop for native seeds and plants at!
  • Shooting Star Native Seeds - Native Prairie Grass and Wildflower Seeds
  • Morning Sky Greenery - Native Prairie Plants
  • Natural Shore Technologies - Using science to improve land and water

More photos

Photos by K. Chayka taken at Strandness Prairie, Pope County. Photos by Peter M. Dziuk taken in Pope County and in a private garden in Anoka County.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Amy - Douglas county
on: 2013-07-14 11:20:50

Echinacea is present in many roadside prairie remnants in Douglas county. For more information on the ecology of Echinacea, see I also saw a couple of Echinacea angustifolia plants in flower last week in a roadside prairie restoration near Hwy 10 and Main Street in Coon Rapids (Anoka county).

Posted by: Pat - Cass County
on: 2013-08-04 23:58:01

Saw large numbers of these along the roadside west of Bagley on Highway 2.

Posted by: Jo S - SW corner near Rowena
on: 2017-03-16 01:32:39

I have seen these in tree shelter open areas near old abandoned farm houses near my home. I have large patches of different varieties (originally of commercial source but lots of self seeding and interbreeding going on). Not sure if these are native species or less showy offspring from my gardens. Look like pictures. Not very exciting so have never looked at up close.

Post a comment

Note: All comments are moderated before posting to keep the riff-raff out. An email address is required, but will not be posted—it will only be used for information exchange between the 2 of us (if needed) and will never be given to a 3rd party without your express permission.

For info on subjects other than plant identification (gardening, invasive species control, edible plants, etc.), please check the links and invasive species pages for additional resources.


Note: Comments or information about plants outside of Minnesota and neighboring states may not be posted because Id like to keep the focus of this web site centered on Minnesota. Thanks for your understanding.