The Coneflowers (Echinacea, Ratibida, and Rudbeckia) are some of my favorite Native American ornamental perennial species. Great multi-use plants, they are ornamental, attract butterflies, and their seed is readily eaten by wild birds. Many make good cut and dry flowers for arranging. In addition, they are generally drought tolerant, low-maintenance plants.
I did a talk on them for the Master Gardener Association of Wayne County back in 2005.
Here are the handouts from that talk:
The Wonderful World of Coneflowers
I’m also working on a book on the subject, coming to an eBook store near you soon.