Coneflowers belong to the genus Rudbeckia. Rudbeckia was named by Carolus Linnaeus, the father of taxonomy, after his teachers and mentors, the botanists, Olof Rudbeck, the elder and the younger.
Cone flowers are part of the Sunflower family, Asteraceae, one of the largest flower families. They are composite flowers with the distinctive ray flowers that tend to droop as they grow and look almost conical, hence the name cone flowers.
At the footbridge to Fuller Rd, nestled in amongst the invaisives, barely visible to a casual observer, these beautiful Cutleaf Coneflowers with their globoid ($5 word for approximately a globe!) cones stand about 4 feet tall. They can reach 8 feet according to Illinois Wildflowers.
Much larger than their more familiar cousins, Rudbeckia triloba, aka brown-eyed Susan, and Rudbeckia hirta, black-eyed Susan, the Cutleaf coneflower’s Ray flowers are almost as large as my thumb and the central disk flowers are about half the size of a marshmallow.