The prairie plant purple has purple lanceolate leaves. Unlike other varieties of coneflower, Tennessee Purple Coneflower, also known as Echinacea tennesseensis, has petals that grow upward instead of downward, giving the flower a cup shape. Like many forms of Echinacea, Tennessee purple coneflower has some healing properties. Never attempt to collect the plant from the wild, as it is listed as endangered. Grow and harvest the plant from your garden using seeds legally purchased from a nursery.
The purple coneflower fruit is the center that is left behind after the petals fall away. This fruit appears spiky in nature. Picking the stems of the purple coneflower and hanging them upside down can dry it. Once the fruit is dried, it may be crushed into smaller pieces and then brewed into a tea. This tea has some healing properties to it, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.. Drinking the tea during cold season can boost your immunity and reduce the rate of contraction and duration of the common cold. Allergy sufferers should not take Echinacea for colds. Doing so may irritate their allergies.
Because of Tennessee purple coneflower's distinct shape, the flower makes an interesting addition to many craft projects. Harvest the flower while blooming and before the leaves fall away. Dry purple coneflower by placing the flower and stem in a long box and covering it with a desiccant. Drying the flower this way will preserve its shape and color. Dried Tennessee purple coneflower makes good dried arrangements or wreathes and swags. Cut the flower free from its stem for use in potpourri.
The Tennessee purple coneflower makes an unusual addition to a wildflower or prairie garden. The plant will attract butterflies with its purple petals and looks nice when planted alongside black-eyed Susan, daisies, sedge grasses and other prairie plants. Growing the endangered flower in your garden can help to increase the plant's long-term chances of survival.