There are nine species of Echinacea. Seven are planted for their beauty while two species are of medicinal importance in the treatment of the common cold and the flu. North American Indians followed sick or wounded Elk as they hunted and ate Echinacea plants. Thus the Indians began to use the Coneflower for medicinal needs. Different tribes used them for various ailments which included coughs, sore throat, headache and sore muscles.
In addition to the medical importance and their beauty, they attract bees, butterflies and songbirds. The seed heads are used in flower arrangements, and the coneflowers are also recommended for fresh flower arrangements.