Tennssee echinacea; The Tennessee purple coneflower (echinacea tennesseensis) was thought to be extinct in the 1960's, but small patches were found in Middle Tennessee cedar glades and this rare wildflower was added to the Endangered Species list in the 1970s. By 2011 the plant had rebounded and it was removed from the list. It became the second official state wildflower for Tennessee in 2012. Photo by Mary Reagan. (Public Domain Image).
Official State Wildflower of Tennessee
The Tennessee purple coneflower (Echinacea tennesseensis) was designated one of Tennessee's official state wildflowers in 2012 (passion flower was adopted as the original state wildflower in 1919). Tennessee also recognizes iris as the state cultivated flower (adopted in 1933). All State Flowers
The Tennessee purple coneflower is found only in the limestone and cedar glades of Middle Tennessee. This wildflower was thought to be extinct, but was discovered growing in the cedar glades of Middle Tennessee in the late 1960's. In 1979 the Tennessee purple coneflower was one of the first plants to be listed as endangered by the United States.
Conservation efforts to protect existing and establish new colonies of this rare wildflower has allowed the Tennessee purple coneflower to make some recovery and it was removed from the endangered list in 2011. Seeds are available commercially.CONTRIBUTORS: Content for this article was submitted by Mary Reagan.