Flower Echinacea - a medicinal plant that will decorate any garden

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Echinacea - a beautiful perennial flower,imported to Europe from North America. The genus Echinacea belongs to the family Asteraceae (Astropeus) and has 5-10 species. The most famous are such species: Echinacea purpurea, echinacea narrow-leaved (E. pallida Nutt, pink or white), echinacea strange (E. paradoxa Britton, yellow), echinacea pale (E. pallida Nutt).

The most studied of all species is Echinacea onlypurple. Due to its medicinal properties, it is widely used in medicine, and its attractive appearance allows using echinacea for decorative purposes.

The flower of Echinacea comes from North America,Mexico and the USA. At home, it grows in open spaces - in fields, stony hills, limestone wastelands, in rich moist soils, in dry steppes or in sparse light forests. In Europe, it appeared shortly after America was discovered, and since then it has been grown in Moldova, Germany, Ukraine, France and Russia.

The flower of echinacea is unpretentious in cultivation and canfor a long time to grow in one place, which together with decorative beauty makes it attractive for gardeners. The stems of the echinacea can reach up to one and a half meters in height, and the branched rhizome penetrates into the soil by 25 centimeters. Its leaves have a broadly lanceolate form: the roots are assembled with a rosette on long petioles, and the stem leaves on short petioles. Inflorescences large (up to 12 cm in diameter), basket-shaped, from white to purple, are located in the axils of the upper leaves and on the apex of the stem. The flower is a spherical reddish-colored pallid edged by reed-shaped petals, the so-called "red hat". Echinacea blooms throughout the summer.

Echinacea is thermophilic, drought-resistant, excellentgrows in sunny open places on any drained soil and tolerates a partial penumbra, but the best for its development is the moistened nutritious and deeply cultivated land. The flower of echinaceus multiplies vegetatively and seeds. When vegetative mode of reproduction, bushes are divided in September or April and planted at a distance of 30-40 cm from each other. Before planting, add a little lime to the soil and compost into the planting holes. In the summer, echinacea requires fertilizing.

Stems of echinacea need to be cut off under the root byend of the season. In the area with cold winters, the root of the Echinacea before frosts is covered with foliage to protect against frost. In regions with a warm climate, the seeds of the Echinacea have time to ripen under the condition of a cold autumn and only in the inflorescence, which first blossomed. Seeds of Echinacea are characterized by poor germination, so they are planted in seedlings from February to March, and if there is a large number of seeds in the seed, they are sown in open ground in April or May. The flower of Echinacea blooms in the second year of life, and by the end of the first, only a rosette of leaves 15-20 cm in height is formed.

The medicinal properties of echinacea were known for many more yearsback indigenous Indians of North America and very appreciated her for it. In the twentieth century, the study of the effects of echinacea on the human body was taken up in the developed countries of the world. As studies have shown, Echinacea has the properties of an antibiotic and very effective against many bacterial and viral diseases. It is able to enhance the defenses of the body, contributing to the development of white blood cells and helping the immune system to fight disease-causing microbes.

For the preparation of medicines use echinacea inage of two years. For these purposes, the aerial part of the plant and the rhizome are suitable. Stems with inflorescences are harvested when the echinacea starts to bloom, and the roots are excavated in the fall.

Echinacea is used internally with respiratorydiseases, infections, mononucleosis, blood infections. External it can be used for burns, furunculosis, hives, eczema, insect bites, herpes, abscesses.

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