Tennessee Coneflower (Echinacea tennesseensis)

Photographic Location: Couchville Cedar Glade State Natural Area

 Now is a great time of the year in the Cedar Glades. A lot of wildflowers that are endemic to this area are blooming now. One of them is the Tennessee Coneflower. Coming back from the brink of extinction, this very rare flower is now in full bloom in the cedar glades.

A member of the sunflower family (Asteraceae), Echinacea tennesseensis is a perennial herb with a long, fusiform (i.e., thickened toward the middle and tapered towards either end), blackened root. In late summer, the species bears showy purple flower heads on one to many hairy branches. Linear to lance shaped leaves up to 8 inches long and 0.6 inches wide arise from the base of E. tennesseensis and are beset with coarse hairs, especially along the margins. The ray flowers (i.e., petals surrounding the darker purple flowers of the central disc) are pink to purple and spread horizontally or arch slightly forward from the disc to a length of  0.8–1.8 in.

Photographic Location: Couchville Cedar Glade State Natural Area
 For more information about this wildflower and its return from almost extinction, Click Here.

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