As much as the humans love the colors of coneflowers, the bees love them more. The pollen they produce can help them get through a dry August dearth.

The coneflower starts it's bloom sometime near June and goes on till September. It can range from 2 feet to 4 feet tall and is naturally deer-resistant.

When the coneflower first starts its growth, it is odorless. Only once it is ready for pollination does its florets orient themselves downward and start to emit a honey-like smell to attract bees and butterflies. Once the flower has been successfully pollinated, it produces a sweet vanilla-like scent.

In the past, Native Americans used it for medicinal purposes. The juices from the root of this flower were used to treat toothaches, sore throats, fevers, snake bites, and open wounds.

It's easy to guess where the name coneflower came from. What's less commonly known is why it's scientifically named Echinacea. This name is a nod to how its prickly scales and large conical seed head resemble an angry hedgehog. The word echinos is Greek for hedgehog.