coneflower, name for several American wildflowers of the family Asteraceae ( aster family). The purple coneflowers (genus Echinacea ), found E of the Rockies, have purple to pinkish petallike rays; some cultivated forms have white flowers. The herb echinacea , derived from the purple coneflower, is taken for colds and other ailments; the plant was used medicinally by Native Americans. Other coneflowers include the yellow coneflowers, or rudbeckias (see black-eyed Susan ), and the praire coneflowers (genus Ratibida ), which have yellow or purplish rays. Many species are grown as garden plants. Coneflowers are classified in the division Magnoliophyta , class Magnoliopsida, order Asterales, family Asteraceae.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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