Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Pale Purple Coneflower - Echinacea pallida   (Nuttall) Nuttall
Members of Asteraceae:
Members of Echinacea with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
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Author(Nuttall) Nuttall
DistributionSouthern Piedmont and foothills, with an outlier record for Granville County in the northeastern Piedmont. All NC records are highly likely to be adventive or escapes from cultivation, and the taxon editors recommend that it be treated as of uncertain provenance, if not non-native.

Primarily midwestern tallgrass prairies. Scattered records east of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers are suspect as to origin.
AbundanceRare in the southwestern Piedmont, and very rare eastward. This is a Significantly Rare species. Though the NCNHP gives it a State Rank of S1, the editors feel it may warrant a rank of SE? (questionably exotic). Note that Weakley (2020) considers it as not native in the Atlantic coast states, and that there is another Echinacea species -- E. simulata -- that might account for some of the NC records of E. pallida, as the two are very similar.
HabitatRoadsides and disturbed sites: "roadbank at old home site" (Richmond Co.), "roadside waste area in Charlotte" (Mecklenburg Co.), "roadside" (Gaston Co.), "roadside ditch and sunny woodland edges" (Rutherford Co.), "cleared upland woods" (McDowell Co.); and dry roadbank at the Granville Co. site. In the Midwest it is a species of tallgrass prairies.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting June-July. All our purple coneflowers have been cultivated for medicinal purposes.
IdentificationPlants grow 1.5-3 feet tall, coarsely spreading-hairy. Leaves are lance-shaped to narrowly elliptic, 4-7 inches long and lacking teeth on the margins. The terminal heads have long, drooping, pale pink rays and a dull brownish yellow disk that becomes dome-shaped in age. The rough hairy stem and upper surface of the leaves separates it from E. laevigata. From E. purpurea it differs in its narrower leaves (2 cm or less wide vs. 3 cm or more wide).
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)None
State RankS1 [SE?]
Global RankG4
State StatusSR-D
US Status
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
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B.A. SorriePrairie remnant near Syracuse, NE, June 2018 Photo_non_NCPhoto_non_NC

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