Echinacea can also be called the purple coneflower. I just love it's dramatic look and it's vibrant pink hue. I just got my first bloom on my echinacea plant and I can't wait for the others to bloom. When the bloom is more mature, the color will be more vibrant, the petals will drop so they are pointing down, and the center of the flower will form a nice round spiky mound. Echinacea does really well in areas that don't get much water. Since I don't have a sprinkling system, I like plants that are drought tolerant.
Echinacea has also been known to help the immune system fighting off infection such as colds. I have never dug up the roots and tried it, but I have taken Echinacea in pill form when I feel a cold coming on.