Echinacea is a group of flowering plants in the daisy family that are found only in North America. The Echinacea genus contains ten species that are called coneflowers.
Some species of Echinacea are often used in folk and alternative medicine for its purported immunological benefits by using their extracts and roots. It is often claimed that echinacea may help with symptoms of the common cold. However, scientific studies of Echinacea extracts have shown that there is little to no efficacy of this and regarding other, more serious, illnesses.
The name Echinacea derives from the Greek word for "sea urchin", which is ekhinos. The reason for this name is that the central disk in Echinacea flowers resemble sea urchins.
The correct pronunciation of Echinacea is eh-kih-NAY-shuh. The stress is pronounced on the third syllable. Differently from how Echinacea would appear to be pronounced phonetically, the first "a" is pronounced like the letter "a" and the following "c" is pronounced with a "sh" sound. The final "ea" is pronounced with an "uh" sound.
The pronunciation of Echinacea is the same in both British and American English.