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Coneflowers impress with their wonderful flowers, which stretch towards the sun in yellow, pink or purple. But be careful, coneflowers are not all the same, because this trivial name hides two botanically different plant genera.


Coneflowers or Rudbeckia

The botanical coneflower bears the scientific name Echinacea and is also called false sun hat or hedgehog head. Rudbeckia (botanically Rudbeckia) are another genus of plants from the daisy family (Asteraceae). They are also called coneflowers because of the drooping ray florets that form a hat. Strictly speaking, however, "Rudbeckia fulgida" means coneflower. Hedgehog heads get their name from their chaff leaves surmounting tubular florets like a hedgehog's little spikes. The trivial and botanical names for these "hats" are the program, since their generic name "Echinacea" is derived from the Greek word for sea urchin (echínos).

Coneflower, Rudbeckia


Whether coneflowers or rudbeckia, neither of the two plant genera is poisonous. They are very suitable as garden plants for households with children and/or dogs and cats. Nothing is known about poisoning in children after eating the plant, but the hedgehog's head is known as a medicinal plant especially appreciated as a tea. But even if hedgehog heads can be drunk as tea, they are and will remain ornamental plants and are therefore not suitable for consumption.

According to the Institute for Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology, no cases of poisoning in animals have been described to date. Nevertheless, the Zurich Institute expressly points out that neither coneflowers nor rudbeckia are suitable as animal feed. As far as cats and coneflowers are concerned, the plant is considered harmless, as is the case for dogs. Nevertheless, as a precaution, you should keep an eye on your darling when he is nibbling on the sun hats.

Coneflower, Rudbeckia

risk of confusion

Sun hats are often confused with:

  • Rudbeckia (non-toxic)
  • Pericallis hybrids (highly poisonous)
  • Rudbeckia are often confused with:
  • Aster species (non-toxic)
  • hedgehog heads (non-toxic)
  • Midday Gold (Gazania rigens, non-poisonous)
  • Stiff sunflower (Helianthus pauciflorus, non-toxic)
  • Pericallis hybrids (highly poisonous)

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