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2013 Echinacea Studies

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Reviewed by Jeanine Davis, NC Alternative Crops and Organics Program, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University on 5/3/2022.

Lijing Zhou, Postdoc, Jennifer Crumley, Graduate Student, Jeanine Davis, Project Leader, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist, John Balles, Sr. Research Scientist

North Carolina State University, Department of Horticultural Science, Raleigh, NC

Nutrition Product Development, Amway/Nutrilite Corporation , Lakeview, CA

Materials and Methods

Data are being collected on growth stage, plant vigor, plant height, flowering date, number of flowers once every other week starting May 24, 2013. Any diseases, insects, or other abnormalities encountered were monitored and diagnosed. At the late bud/few flowers open stage, E. purpurea aerial parts were collected, weighed, dried, reweighed, and shipped to Nutrilite for phytochemical analysis in late June, 2013. At the end of the growing season in 2013, roots from the Year 2 plots of each species at each location were harvested, washed, weighed, dried, reweighed, and sent to Nutrilite for phytochemical analysis. The harvests would have been impossible without the amazing help we received from the crews at the Reidsville and Mills River stations.

Purpurea MR may 2013

Fig. 1. Echinacea pupurea on May 28th, 2013 in Mills River.

Aug May 28 Mr

Fig. 2. Echinacea angustifolia on May 28th, 2013 in Mills River.

Purpurea Mills River 2013 june

Fig. 3. Echinacea pupurea on June 15th, 2013 in Mills River.

Echinacea angustifolia june14 2013

Fig. 4. Echinacea angustifolia on June 15th , 2013 in Mills River.


Fig. 5. Echinacea pupurea on June 15th, 2013 in Reidsville.

EP IN rv 2013-05-24_14-34-51_637

Fig. 6. Echinacea angustifolia on May 24, 2013 in Reidsville.

EP harvest MR 2013

Fig. 7. E. purpurea top harvest on June 25 in Mills River.

MR TOP harvest June 2013 IMG_3176

Fig. 8. E. purpurea top harvest on June 25 in Mills River.

RV TOP harvest in June 2013 IMG_3134

Fig. 9. E. purpurea top harvest on June 19 in Reidsville.

EP top harvest in Reidsville 2013IMG_3160

Fig. 10. E. purpurea top harvest on June 19 in Reidsville.

  ep fresh sample


Fig. 11. E. purpurea aerial fresh sample

EP dry samples IMG_3185

Fig. 12. E. purpurea aerial dry sample

RV root harvest 2013 oct 31

Fig. 13. E. purpurea root fresh sample in Oct. 2013


Fig. 14. E. angustifolia root fresh sample in Nov. 2013

IMG_3402 harvest

Fig. 15. Echinacea roots harvest in Reidsville, NC in Nov. 2013

IMG_3423 harvest

Fig. 16. Echinacea roots harvest in Nov. 2013

root washer

Fig. 17. The cement mixer is cleaning up the roots

IMG_3436 washing

Fig. 18. Echinacea root washing

EA fresh root 2013 DSCN0014

Fig. 19. E. angustifolia fresh root samples were air-drying

Fig. 20. Echinacea fresh root samples were air-drying

Fig. 20. Echinacea fresh root samples were air-drying

IMG_3451 dry samples

Fig.21.E. purpurea dry root samples

IMG_3452 EA dry samples

Fig. 22.E. angustifolia dry root samples

IMG_3502 dryer

Fig. 23. Echinacea samples in the dryer

Fig. 24. Echinacea roots harvest in Mills River, NC in Nov. 2013

Fig. 24. Echinacea roots harvest in Mills River, NC in Nov. 2013

Results and Discussion

Average Plant Height: There was no difference (P=0.3211) in average plant height of E. purpurea between the two growing locations. Plants in their second year of growth were significantly taller than in their first year of growth, with an average of approximately 31” compared to an average of 18”, respectively (Figure 1). Seed source 3 produced the shortest plants during year one, reaching an average of approximately 20.6” in height (Figure 1). The second shortest plants were produced from source 4 during year one with an average height of approximately 23.5”. There were no other differences among the sources. All sources were significantly different when year 1 to year 2 plants were compared, but the interaction was greatest for source 3, with an average of approximately 10.6” to 30.7”, respectively (Figure 1).

Figure 1. The average final plant height of E. purpurea sources in 2012 and 2013.

Figure 1. The average final plant height of E. purpurea sources in 2012 and 2013.

Top and Root Dry weight: There was no significant difference in E. purpurea top dry weight between growing locations or among plant sources. Harvest year, however, significantly (P<0.01) affected top dry weight. Plants harvested from the 2013 growing season produced more aerial biomass than plants harvested from 2012 (Figure 2). Dry root weight was also not affected by location (P=0.2548). However, year and the interaction between year and source showed that plants harvested in 2013 produced more roots than their 2012 counterparts. The interaction between year and source revealed that source 4 produced more roots in 2013 than the other sources (Figure 3). There were no other significant differences.

2013 Echinacea project_clip_image004

Figure 2. The top dry weight of E. purpurea among sources in both years.

2013 Echinacea project_clip_image006

Figure 3. The dry root weight of E. purpurea sources in both years.


We gratefully acknowledge Nutrilite for the funds supporting these studies.