The Echinacea Project has many research collections. This page explains where they are located and how to access them.

The living collection. Our living collections comprise plantings of over 22 thousand individual plants in ten experimental plots. The core dataset for the main experimental plot is online, it consists of annual fitness traits (survival, head counts, etc). Many other traits have been measured on plants in experimental plots; check out our datasets.

Research specimens from the living collection. Every year, we harvest all seedheads from all plants in the living collection. We then dry them and process them in the lab at the CBG. Each head has a unique specimen identification code, which we call the letNo.

  • Receptacles, bracts, and chaff are stored dry in the lab at CBG (1000 Lake Cook Rd. Glencoe IL 60022).
  • Fruits are stored frozen in the Dixon National Tallgrass Prairie Seed Bank. This file connects the DNTPSB Accesssion number to our information about year harvested and letNo.
  • All fruits from every head are imaged with a digital scanner. Here are three example images: one, two, three. To access all images, request a username at
  • A random sample of fruits from every head is x-rayed. Here are three example images: one, two, three. To access all images, request a username at

Insect specimens

Most of our insect specimens are deposited at the UMN insect collection. We gave some bee specimens to Sam Droege when he identified some for us. The type specimens of Aphis echinaceae that we gave to Doris Lagos are at the Illinois Natural History Museum. Read the details in Lagos’s paper.

Microsatellite sequences

All sequences from Ison et al. (2013) are posted in GenBank. Links are here.

Pollen reference collection

We have pollen specimens of Echinacea angustifolia and other plant species that flower at the same time. All of our images were online at, but the website went down. We have all the images and hope to re-post them online. We sent a sample of Echinacea angustifolia pollen to Oli Wilson at the 3D Pollen Project and he made a very cool 3-D model of a pollen grain. It’s neat to look at!

Videos of pollinators visiting Echinacea plants

We have posted all 207 videos from Page et. al 2019.

Phenology images

View images of a flowering head on one plant taken daily for an entire flowering season to see how it changes. To see the variation among plants, look at images of  heads on many plants all taken on the same day.


Ison, J.L., S. Wagenius, D. Reitz., M.V. Ashley. 2013. Development and evaluation of microsatellite markers for a native prairie perennial, Echinacea angustifolia (Asteraceae). Applications in Plant Sciences 1: 1300049. PDF

Lagos, D. and Voegtlin, D., 2009. A new species of Aphis in Minnesota (Hemiptera: Aphididae) on narrow-leaved purple coneflower, Echinacea angustifolia. Great Lakes Entomologist 42:91-96. online

Page, M. L., Ison, J. L., Bewley, A. L., Holsinger, K. M., Kaul, A. D., Koch, K. E., Kolis, K. M., and Wagenius, S. 2019. Pollinator effectiveness in a composite: A specialist bee pollinates more florets but does not move pollen farther than other visitors. American Journal of Botany 106: 1487–1498. PDF