Pale purple coneflower is a member of the Asteraceae or Aster family. It is a taprooted perennial herb found May - July in prairies and along railroads. The large pinkish-purple flower heads extend up to 10 cm when first in bloom. However, approximately one week later, the ray flowers begin to droop and form an inverted "cone." After approximately three weeks, the ray flowers drop off and the central head of spiny disk flowers remain conspicuous until late autumn. Purple coneflower indicates high quality prairie. It is palatable and nutritious to ungulates as well as the roots are a preferred food source of voles and many other rodents. While in bloom, many insects seek out the yellow pollen from the disk flowers.