Echinacea: A healing flower with sun hat

Garden Life
Echinaceas are true heroes. It does not matter whether it rains, storms or the sun shines – these composite flowers chase away other flowers in the garden because of their beautiful blossoms. With big elegant and colourful hats, they attract attention and, aside from that, they strengthen our immune system.

The origin of Echinacea is North America. The Latin name “Echinacea” is derived from the Greek echinos = hedgehog. This describes the similarity between the spiny and bulging flower head with the animal hedgehog. 

Due to the healing properties, Echinacea has become well-known. Already Native Americans chewed the roots of this plant to relieve sore throats and toothaches. Nowadays, nearly in every medicine chest, you can find products which contain plant extract of this flower. Echinacea is used for cold, fever and weakness of immune response. You can also use it to heal skin diseases or lymphatic inflammations. The healing effect is not scientifically proven – nevertheless, Echinacea has become a popular medicament.

Echinacea meanwhile is also established in European gardens. Although the variety is not as big as in Northern America, they can show their blossoms extensively. They truly bloom continually in a way that from June until the end of September we can enjoy their big blossoms.

In Europe three plant varieties hast prevailed: Purple Echinacea, Pallid Echinacea and the Echinacea with slim leaves. These plants are born as sun worshipper. They survive hot and dry summer periods without any problems because they are accustomed to heat and sun. Moreover, they do not have special requirements to soil. It should be sufficiently nutritious and permeable. In order to support the flower formation we recommend to regularly cut off withered blossoms.

Echinacea is not only suitable for a bunch of flowers, but also beloved among butterflies and bees. When the flowering season is over, do not remove the “hedgehog-like” flower heads which contain the seeds. They are a real decoration during winter time.

Image: © hanseat -