We grow a lot of Echinacea on our farm — usually four fields a year. We harvest each part at a different time, when nature tells us the plant part is ready. In fall, once the flower heads have started to dry out, it’s time to harvest Echinacea purpurea seeds. We use a combine to harvest the seed.
In total, we harvest between 300 and 600 pounds of Echinacea seed annually. (The chaff gets composted.) Some of the seed will be extracted after it has been validated by our laboratory and used in Super Echinacea®. The rest will be saved to be planted for future crops. Echinacea is a perennial herb, so the roots will keep growing after we harvest the seed heads.
Herb at a glance
Botanical name: Echinacea purpurea
Common name(s): Purple coneflower, Echinacea
Native habitat: Eastern and central US
Parts used: roots, seeds, flowers and leaves
Botanical description: Echinacea seeds are found within the flower’s cone, and they look almost like grains of brown rice.
Use(s): supports healthy function of the immune system*
Flavor profile: deep, earthy taste followed by a tingling mouthfeel due to naturally occurring alkylamides