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The genus name Echinacea derives from the Greek echinos (hedgehog) and refers to the thorny base of the flower head. Purpurea is Latin for ‘purple-red’.The coneflower was one of the most important healing plants of the Native Americans of the North American prairies, particularly the Cheyenne, Dakota (= Oglala Lakota, Oglala), Kiowa, Crow, Omaha, Pawnee, Ponca, Teton, Delaware, and Comanche. They used the juice or a mush made from the ground herb or chewed pieces of root.

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