Echinacea is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants in the daisy family, Asteraceae. The nine species it contains are commonly called purple coneflowers.
They are endemic to eastern and central North America, where they are found growing in moist to dry prairies and open wooded areas.
They have large, showy heads of composite flowers, blooming from early to late summer. The generic name is derived from the Greek word (echino), meaning "hedgehog," due to the spiny central disk.
Some species are used in herbal medicines and some are cultivated in gardens for their showy flowers. A few species are of conservation concern.