Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) is popular with bees, hummingbirds and butterflies and seeds are a fall and winter food source for birds as well. It makes excellent cut flowers, is easy to grow and will spread in the garden. Native to the central and eastern United States and naturalized in much of Ontario, purple coneflower is hardy up to zone 3. Leaves and flower petals are edible, which many make into a tea to benefit from its many medicinal qualities.
Cold, moist stratification required. Mix seeds with moist substrate (vermiculite, perlite or moss) and place in a plastic bag and refrigerate for 6-8 weeks. Sow seed at 1/8 inch depth. Do not let seedling dry out while it is establishing.
Sow directly outdoors in late fall to overwinter.