The Wildflower That Came Back From The Dead

In 1959, a botanist named Ronald McGregor began a two-year search for a wildflower known as Tennessee purple coneflower (Echinacea tennesseensis).

He knew that Tennessee purple coneflower was rare, but he didn’t know how rare the plant actually was.

Despite his best efforts, Ronald McGregor didn’t find a single specimen.  In 1968, he stated that Tennessee purple coneflower was possibly extinct.

Today, things are very different.  Tennessee purple coneflower is far from extinct.  Anyone who knows where to look can find hundreds of plants.  The species is so abundant in some locations that it’s nearly impossible to miss.

What happened in the years between 1968 and 2023?  How did Tennessee purple coneflower come back from the dead?

In the following video (filmed on location in Tennessee!), I share the remarkable story of this fascinating plant.

© 2024 Learn Your Land with Adam Haritan