Flirty or shy,
dancing ladies or crew cut boys,
comforting friend or sheltering elder,
noisy and or tranquil,
Personification is not used by scientists to describe their observations of plants, but this naturalist can’t help herself. I may be speaking prematurely when I say that scientists don’t personify plants. Someone thought it resembled a sea urchin (Echinacea is Greek for sea urchin) when looking at its bristly seed head. Sea urchins aren’t “persons”, but this analogy is the only excuse I need to include personification in my descriptions of this species.
Its nickname, Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) makes me imagine that one of our forefathers (or mothers) traveled into the future and became a fan of SNL’s conehead family. Then, as they gazed on a field of Echinacea among the blue grasses, they couldn’t help but say, “Aha, purple coneheads, or rather purple coneflowers”. Probably not, but can’t help thinking these summer blooms have more personality than their name.