Smooth coneflower looks very similar to Purple coneflower (E. purpurea) and you can tell them apart by their leaves. Smooth coneflower leaves are lance-shaped and Purple coneflower leaves are heart-shaped. Smooth coneflower can grow 18-36 in tall, with smooth stems topped by a purple flower. The flowers are made up of a disk of light purple ray flowers (petals) that surround the dark purple disk flowers (the center "cone" of the flower). Flowers bloom between May to August and later produce dark brown fruits called achenes that resemble tiny sunflower seeds.
The Smooth coneflower is a federally listed endangered plant species found in the piedmont of the southeastern United States. Butterflies and honeybees often visit the flowers for nectar. Smooth coneflower prefers open areas for habitat, especially those with calcium and magnesium rich soils.