Tennessee purple coneflower (Echinacea tennesseensis) is a cousin of the sunflower plant, along with other purple coneflower varieties in the Echinacea genus. The Tennessee purple coneflower grows both as a wildflower and as a hybrid; the wildflower form is protected as an endangered species, but the hybrid form commonly is used in landscaping and in other home uses. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed removing the wildflower from the endangered species list in August 2010. Until that becomes official, choose the hybrid form of Tennessee purple coneflower for home use.
Echinacea is an herbal tea.
Tennessee purple coneflower, like other Echinacea varieties, is recommended by herbalists, who believe it may boost the immune system, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center website. Echinacea was used during the 18th and 19th centuries to treat a variety of ailments including malaria, blood poisoning, and syphilis. Its use as an immune system booster declined after the 19th century, but it now is found in many over-the-counter treatments for the common cold. Echinacea can be made into herbal teas and tinctures.
Echinacea are ornamental.
The hybrid form of Tennessee purple coneflower plants are used as ornamental additions to garden borders and herb gardens. Because of their tall, rigid stems and deep lavender and purple petals, the flowers add rich texture to the landscape. They also draw butterflies and bees to the garden. Hybrid seeds can be purchased for planting Tennessee purple coneflower in your garden.
Dried flowers in potpourri.
Dry and preserve the hybrid form of Tennessee purple coneflower for use in potpourri. The best way to preserve Echinacea blooms, as well as other wildflowers, is to pick them with the stem attached and press the blossoms in books or between paper in a dry room. Dry the blossoms separately or add them to homemade potpourri.