• Wind Cave National Park - Two Worlds

    Wind Cave

    National Park South Dakota

Wildflowers - Purple Coneflower

Purple Coneflower - Echinacea angustifolia
Purple Coneflower - Echinacea angustifolia
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NPS Photo
 
Stiff, hairy stem 1 to 2 feet tall topped by a spiky, dark-brown flower head disk with pink-purple petals. The root of this plant was the most important medicine for many Plains Indians tribes. When chewed or mashed and applied like a paste, its properties are that of a local anesthetic, which led to its use for treating snakebites, burns, toothache, arthritis, measles, sore muscles, and more. Echinacea products are sold in stores today as boosts to the immune system. Popularity of this herbal medicine has, unfortunately, led to a drastic reduction in remaining wild stands of this plant.

Did You Know?

Natural Entrance of Wind Cave

Winds caused by changes in barometric pressure are what give Wind Cave its name. These winds have been measured at the cave's walk-in entrance at over 70 mph. The winds at the natural entrance of the cave attracted the attention of Native Americans and early settlers.