Botanical name: Rudbeckia
Common name: Coneflower or black-eyed Susan
The starry flowers of these robust, long-flowering plants can shine in borders, summer bedding, containers and prairie-style plantings. Perennials tend to be yellow flowered, whereas those grown as annuals are available in a wider colour range, with shades of yellow, orange, dark red or brown. The foliage can be hairy or smooth and comes in green or grey.
Sturdy upright stems carry daisy-like mainly yellow flowers, with a central disc that forms a cone (not visible in double varieties). Sizes vary considerably; R. hirta ‘Toto’ only reaches about 25cm (10in), whereas R. laciniata can reach 3m (10ft).
Rudbeckias grow well in moderately fertile, moisture retentive but not soggy soil. They flower best in full sun.
Plants may wilt during prolonged dry periods in summer. They will not flower well in shade.
Did you know?
Many rudbeckias look attractive through winter. The stems and distinctive rounded seedheads persist well, providing food for birds and shelter for wildlife.
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