by Carl Strang
One of our most striking prairie plants is the purple coneflower.
The stem is strong enough to remain up through the winter, but the leaves are gone.
The spiky looking head, an inch or more in diameter, remains the distinctive feature of purple coneflower in winter.
The seeds are long gone, most of them probably taken as food by goldfinches. In my garden I have found that some seeds survive, and are capable of dispersing at least 20 feet.