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Rudbeckia laciniata ‘Herbstsonne’

Rudbeckia laciniata ‘Herbstsonne’

Rudbeckia make excellent cut flowers and, in particular, Rudbeckia laciniata ‘Herbstsonne’ AGM with their upright branching stems and bright yellow ray-florets. Situated on the Main Borders and adjacent Island Beds at Harlow Carr, Rudbeckia, along with many other majestic flowers in the Main Borders, can be used to make stunning cut flower arrangements.

Vital statistics

Common name
Coneflower
Family
Asteraceae
Height & spread
2m (6ft) x 90cm (36in)
Form
Deciduous perennial
Soil
Moderately fertile, preferably heavy, moist but well-drained soil.
Aspect
Full sun or partial shade
Hardiness
Fully hardy

Rudbeckia

This is a genus of approximately 20 species of annuals, biennials and perennials (some of which may be grown as annuals), with short rhizomes, from moist meadows and light woodland in North America. They have branched or unbranched stems and most have alternate, simple leaves, prominently veined and toothed towards the tips.

Usually solitary, daisy-like flowerheads, often with reflexed yellow ray-florets and conical centres consisting of black, brown or green disc-florets, are borne on long stems over a long period from summer to autumn.

Most are good for cut flowers and do well in a mixed border, naturalized in a meadow or in a woodland garden.

Rudbeckia was named for Olof Rudbeck (1630-1702) ‘one of the most remarkable Swedes of all time’, founder of the Uppsala botanic garden, and his son of the same name (1660-1740) who was a professor in Uppsala and friend of Linnaeus when he was a poverty-stricken student.

Rudbeckia laciniata ‘Herbstsonne’

This cultivar is an upright, rhizomatous, clump-forming perennial with oval, toothed or slightly lobed, prominently veined, glossy, mid-green leaves to 15cm (6in) long.

From midsummer to early autumn, branching stems bear daisy-like flowerheads 10-12cm (4-5in) across, with bright yellow ray-florets and high, conical centres of green disc-florets, becoming yellowish brown with age.

Cultivation

  • Grow in moderately fertile, preferably heavy but well-drained soil that does not dry out, in full sun or partial shade.
  • Slugs may damage young growth.

Propagation

  • Sow seed of perennials in containers in a cold frame in early spring, or divide in autumn or spring.
  • Sow seed of annuals and biennials at 16-18°C (61-64°F) in spring.

AGM

The RHS Floral Trials Subcommittee awarded Rudbeckia laciniata ‘Herbstsonne’ an Award of Garden Merit, describing it:

"Plants 245cm (8ft) tall, spread 160cm (5ft 4in). Erect. Basal leaves deltoid to ovate, serrate, compound, much divided, hairy. Lower stem leaves ovate, serrate, divided into three lobes. Late flowering. Broad petal presents the colour well. Good clean foliage."
 

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