Plant of the Week: Hula Dancer pale purple coneflower
The High Line’s planting design is inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew up between rail tracks after the trains stopped running in the 1980s. Today, the High Line includes more than 300 species of perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees — each chosen for their hardiness, adaptability, diversity, and seasonal variation in color and texture. Some of the species that originally grew on the High Line’s rail bed are reflected in the park landscape today.
This week we share with you one of our gardeners’ current favorites.
With its delicate petals hanging loosely around its prominent, rounded head, it is no surprise the graceful pale purple coneflower, or Echinacea pallida, is often referred to as the hula dancer. These tall perennials, which grow white petals accented by pale pinks and purples, add a bright pop of color to the surrounding green shrubbery at 15th Street and between 27th and 28th Streets on the High Line.
With its root commonly used in herbal remedies and added to teas, some believe that Echinacea helps to relieve infection and hasten recovery time.
Native to the prairie region of the central United States, where Native Americans first used it as a medicine, the pale purple coneflower has been introduced to the East Coast. It now grows here naturally, blooming during the late spring and throughout the summer.
WHERE TO SEE THIS PLANT
On the High Line at 15th Street and between 27th and 28th Streets