purple coneflower disc florets, disc florets buds, inflorescense, ray florets, parts of the flower of purple coneflower new jersey

The “purple flower” of the Purple coneflower is not a flower at all!

The colorful part we see on the purple coneflower is actually a bunch of modified leaves called “ray florets” or petals. They form a beautiful circle around the actual flowers at the center, known as “disc florets.”

purple coneflower echinaceae purpurea ray florets petals

The “disc florets” are small tubular structures found in the middle. They produce nectar, enticing pollinators like bees and butterflies. These disc florets are the actual flowers of the purple coneflower.

purple coneflower echinacea purpurea disc floret flowers

Native to North America, the Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) is a beloved perennial plant. So, next time you spot a purple coneflower with its stunning “purple flowers,” remember that those petals are modified leaves called ray florets.

Author: Krystal Zuniga
Date: July 14th, 2023
Blog for Nature Circle

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