The purple coneflower, or echinacea, is finding its way into more home gardens and commercial landscaping in Florida than in the past, according to the University of Florida. This flowering perennial wildflower is suited to dry areas of Florida.
Description and Cultivars
The coneflowers are native to Florida and the American plains, where they grow in dry, rocky areas. Echinacea purpurea, a common species, grows from 1 to 3 feet tall and sports purple flowers with drooping, daisy-like petals throughout the summer. Other species have white or pink flowers, and new hybrids are emerging with yellow and orange flowers.
Coneflowers can be planted any time of year in Florida and can tolerate partial shade or full sun. Coneflowers will grow in acidic or alkaline soil that is loamy or clay. They are tolerant of dry weather but not salty soil. Plant coneflowers 18 to 24 inches apart.
When to Expect Blooms
All varieties of coneflower begin to bloom about six months after the seeds are started in the fall. The plant will begin to develop flower buds in late spring to early summer. The flowers are long-lived, and the plant will produce a continuous supply of flowers until fall. It will bloom again the next summer.