Blacksamson Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia var. angustifolia)
Blacksamson Echinacea Echinacea angustifolia DC. var. angustifolia (COMPOSITE FAMILY)
Blacksamson echinacea is an erect perennial 1-3 ft tall arising from a thick black root. The stem is slender and rough-pubescent, with alternate, entire leaves, the lower ones petiolate and the upper sessile. The petiole and leaf blade are rough-pubescent and lanceolate to linear-lanceolate with almost parallel venation. The inflorescence is a solitary composite head with pink ray florets. The hemispheric disk has reddish-brown scales or bracts exceeding the disk florets. The sharp-pointed bracts produce a prickly knob. The fruit is an acutely angled, grayish, naked achene. The root of this plant contains compounds that reduce pain. By chewing a bit of the root the tongue is numbed. Indians used this plant for toothaches, burns, wounds, and sore throat. The root extract is reported to be an antidote for rattlesnake bite, a remedy for blood poisoning and cancer, and a blood purifier. Pharmaceutical companies purchase quantities of the root for medicines.