Plants 35-110 cm (roots fusiform, ± branched). Herbage (glaucous) mostly glabrous (leaves sometimes sparsely hairy abaxially). Stems green. Basal leaves: petioles 4-26 cm; blades 3- or 5-nerved, elliptic to lanceolate-ovate, 10-50 × 3-6.5 cm, bases broadly cuneate to rounded, margins usually serrate or dentate. Peduncles 10-40 cm. Phyllaries lanceolate, 3-15 × 2-3(-5) mm. Receptacles: paleae 7-12 mm, tips orange to brownish purple-tipped, often incurved, sharp-pointed. Ray corollas pink to purple, laminae spreading to reflexed, 35-80 × 3-7 mm, sparsely hairy abaxially. Discs conic to spheric, 15-30 × 15-40 mm. Disc corollas 8-9 mm, lobes purple to greenish (usually erect). Cypselae tan, disc cypselae tan, banded, 4-5 mm, usually glabrous (ray cypselae sometimes hairy on angles); pappi to 1.2 mm (teeth unequal). 2n = 22. Flowering late spring-early summer. Well-drained soils, open wooded hillsides, fields; of conservation concern; 100-1100 m; Ga., N.C., Pa., S.C., Va. Echinacea laevigata was historically present in Pennsylvania but is now thought to be extirpated; its occurrence in Maryland has not been confirmed; reports of its presence in Alabama and Arkansas are most likely based on misidentifications. It is in the Center for Plant Conservation´s National Collection of Endangered Plants.
Much like no. 1 [Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench], and perhaps only a geographic var. of it, but glabrous and ±glaucous, or the lvs sometimes scabrous to short- hairy above; stems consistently simple, 6-12 dm; rays to 8 cm; plants tending to have a short, quickly deliquescent taproot or vertical caudex; 2n=22. Woods and fields; locally from se. Pa. to n. Ga., from the Piedmont to the Folded Appalachians. (E. purpurea var. l.)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.