|Purple Coneflower - Echinacea purpurea|
Wild purple coneflower plants photographed at Winfield Illinois.
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Honeybees love echinacea
The genus name is from the Greek echino, meaning "hedgehog," an allusion to the spiny, multicolored central disk. The flowers of Echinacea species are used to make an extremely popular herbal tea, purported to help strengthen the immune system; an extract is also available in tablet or liquid form in pharmacies and health food stores. There are no reliable scientific studies showing any immune system benefit from imbibing echinacea tea or supplements.
Often cultivated, Purple Coneflower is a showy, easily grown garden plant. Native Americans used echinacea for many medicinal purposes. In Europe today, more than 200 pharmaceutical products are made from the extracts. Butterflies, honey, bumble and all sorts of bees sip nectar from purple coneflowers all summer long.
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