Tennessee coneflower

Echinacea tennesseensis (TennesseeĀ coneflower). This member of the Asteraceae is a native endemic to the cedar glade habitats of central Tennessee, and was recently de-listed as federally endangered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as of September 2, 2011.

Plants grow up to 2.5 feet tall and often grow as multi-stemmed bunches in the garden setting. The Tennessee coneflower differs from E. pallida and other echinaceas in having an erect, flattened ray of flowers rather than drooping or skirted rays.

Researchers hypothesize that E. tennesseensis evolved during the last ice age when, during the ice ace, central Tennessee was much drier and contained similar prairie habitat as the historic Illinois prairies. When the glaciers began to melt, central Tennessee became considerably wetter. This damp habitat killed off many local Echinacea species and those that remained adapted to the wet soils–thus becoming E. tennesseensis.

Botanical Name Echinacea tennesseensis
Common Name Tennessee coneflower
Family Asteraceae
USDA Zone 5 thru 6
Light Requirement Full Sun
Season(s) of interest Summer, Fall, Winter
Height and Spread
1.5-2ft x 1-1.5ft (45-60cm x 30-45cm)
Flower Color Pink
Attracts Wildlife Butterflies, Bees
Additional Information
Native range: Eastern United States
Location in Lurie Garden
Southeast Light Plate, Northeast Light Plate