Echinacea paradoxa

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: yellow coneflower 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Native Range: Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: June to August
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Clay Soil, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil


Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Divide clumps when they become overcrowded. Plants usually rebloom without deadheading, however prompt removal of spent flowers improves general appearance. May self-seed if at least some of the seed heads are left in place.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Echinacea paradoxa, sometimes called yellow coneflower, is the only species in the genus Echinacea to have yellow flowers instead of the usual purple flowers (this being the paradox suggested by the species name). It primarily occurs on glades and prairies in the Ozark regions of Missouri and Arkansas. Features large, daisy-like flowers with drooping yellow to orange-yellow petals (ray flowers) and very large, coppery-brown to chocolate-brown central cones. Best flower display is mid-June to mid-July, sometimes with sporadic continued bloom throughout the summer. Flowers grow on rigid, glabrous stems typically to 3' tall. Smooth, lance-shaped, dark green leaves (4-8" long) with linear veining. The dead flower stems will remain erect well into the winter and, if flower heads are not removed, are often visited by goldfinches who perch on or just below the blackened cones to feed on the seeds. he Greek word echinos meaning hedgehog in reference to the spiny center cone.

Genus name of Echinacea comes from the Greek word echinos meaning hedgehog or sea-urchin in reference to the spiny center cone found on most flowers in the genus.

Specific epithet calls attention to the paradox of why this species of Echinacea has yellow flowers instead of the usual purple.


No serious insect or disease problems. Japanese beetle and leaf spot are occasional problems.


Mass in the border, native plant garden, naturalized area, prairie or wildflower meadow. Contrasts well with the related purple coneflowers.