Echinacea tennesseensis (Tennessee 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|
|USDA Zone||5 thru 6|
|Light Requirement||Full Sun|
|Season(s) of interest||spring, summer, fall, winter|
|Height and Spread||1.5-2ft x 1-1.5ft (45-60cm x 30-45cm)|
|Attracts Wildlife||Provides Food for Birds, Attracts Pollinators,|
|Additional Information||Native to US Midwest.|
|Location in Lurie Garden||Southeast Light Plate, Northeast Light Plate|