The coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) has long been a favorite in gardens across North America, thanks to their purple-pink blossoms, drooping around a large, seeded cone-like center. But this easy-to-grow native perennial is also imbued with meaning and offers multiple medicinal uses. Its lovely flowers attract a range of pollinators, and its seeds feed the birds in fall and winter. Read on to learn more about the meaning and symbolism of the Echinacea or coneflower.
Echinacea (Coneflower) Symbolism – Key Takeaways
Thanks to their many medicinal uses, Echinacea or coneflowers are associated with health, strength, and healing. When given as a gift, a coneflower says, “I hope you feel better.” Echinacea is the perfect choice of bloom for a get-well floral gift, to brighten up someone’s day when they’re on the mend, or to celebrate strength.
Echinacea comes from the Greek word ekhinos, which means sea urchin or hedgehog. This references the way the flowers’ seeds bristle out from their central disks.
The Meaning, Symbolism, and Cultural Significance of Echinacea
Echinacea flowers bloom in various colors, depending on species and variety. Hues range from purple to rosy pink, ruby red, deep orange, yellow, and white.
When it comes to flower meaning, different colors are often associated with different significance. For instance, white may stand for innocence and purity, while purple may stand for royalty, grace, and elegance. Pink is often associated with maternal love and femininity, orange with joy and enthusiasm, and yellow often stands for happiness, luck, and success.
Of course, Echinacea flowers have their specific significance. Due to their long association with healing and medicinal uses, coneflowers are often a symbol of health, wellness, and healing. This makes them a perfect flower to gift to someone ill or recovering from a health issue.
Several Native American tribes assign special meaning to the coneflower. To the Ute, the flowers are associated with elk; it’s thought that elk seek out the “elkroot” when they need medicine. Some tribes also used coneflower in spiritual rituals.
Today, the coneflower is one of two “official wildflowers” in Tennessee. While it’s deer and drought-resistant, it attracts pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Birds like goldfinches love to feed on the coneflower’s seeds.
Suitable Gifting Occasions for Coneflowers
Due to the coneflower’s association with health and wellness, it’s a perfect flower to include in get well soon bouquets. It’s also a lovely bloom to add to floral gifts when you want to portray well wishes or messages of strength.
Echinacea (Coneflower) Meaning FAQs:
What does an Echinacea flower symbolize?
Due to their long history of medicinal uses in North America and Europe, Echinacea flowers are often associated with health and healing. They may also symbolize strength and well-being.
Are coneflower and Echinacea the same thing?
Yes, echinacea and coneflower are the same. “Coneflower” is the common name for flowers in the Echinacea genus, which contains nine to 10 species of coneflower.
Are Echinacea lucky?
Echinacea is associated with health, healing, strength, and well-being. All these positive attributes can certainly be associated with luck.
Is an Echinacea a flower of love?
While coneflowers are most commonly associated with well-being and health, they’re a great way to send well wishes to someone you love.
Do Echinacea come back every year?
Echinacea is a perennial, so they will come back each year. While the plants are relatively short-lived, they do drop lots of seeds, and new plants freely grow to replace the older plants. Coneflowers can be cut back in late fall ahead of spring the following year.
How long do Echinacea flowers last?
Echinacea flowers are relatively long-lasting. They bloom in summer and sometimes into the fall.
Do Echinacea flower more than once?
Coneflowers often produce multiple flowers on a single stem. They will rebloom without deadheading, but you can deadhead using sterilized, sharp snips if you choose.
Echinacea Meaning and Symbolism – The Final Word
With its long history as a valuable medicinal plant, it’s no surprise that Echinacea has long been a landscape favorite. These lovely flowers, with their characteristic drooping petals, add beautiful color to the garden. They draw pollinators, feed birds with their seeds, and are easy to grow. Echinacea flowers carry the symbolic meaning and associations with health, healing, and wellness, making the coneflower a perfect gift to wish someone well.
For more, see our in-depth guide and the best companion plants for coneflowers.