Rudbeckia – Cone Flower, Golden Glow,
Black Eyed Susan
The garden’s gold is greatly enhanced in Autumn by the sorts of Rudbeckias, especially the Golden Glow, which is the double form of Rudbeckia laciniata.Everyone knows this common perennial and admires its wealth of bloom. One of the handsomest Coneflowers is R. Newmanii (speciosa) which bears golden yellow single, Daisy-like flowers with a high purple cone in the center. It blooms from August to September and grows several feet tall. There is an interesting sort which has smooth, gray-green, Cabbage-like leaves, known as R. maxima. The plants grow 6 feet to 8 feet tall and bear bright yellow flowers, 4 inches or 5 inches in diameter, upon long, stiff stems. The cone at the center is often 2 inches high. Another grayish sort is R. subfomentosa, but in this case the leaves and stems are densely covered with hair. The flowers are brilliant yellow with a chocolate center and are borne in large clusters. This sort also blooms in late Summer and early Fall. The Autumn Sun, R. nitida,has rich yellow flowers in which the rays are decidedly drooping. It blooms from August to October. R. friloba is a biennial sort with yellow flowers which have orange or purple-brown markings and a black purple cone in the center. R. purpurea, the Purple Coneflower, is discussed under Echinacea.
UTILIZE. The showy character of the plants makes them especially useful in bold masses for the border. The Golden Glow is valued where there are outbuildings, fences, and unsightly objects to be hidden. All the sorts serve admirably as cut flowers, for the stems are long, and the blooms are lasting.
GENERAL. The plants thrive anywhere, but are specially adapted to sunny places. When many of the sorts are cut back after flowering, they will send up a second crop of flowers.
PROPAGATION. All the sorts,
except Golden Glow, may be grown from seed, but the usual method of propagation is by a division of the plants in early Spring. Some of the wild Rudbeckias, generally known as Black-eyed Susans, are biennials. These are raised from seed, but as they usually self-sow, further seeding is generally unnecessary.