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Rudbeckia Brings A Golden Glow To The Garden
by Jennifer Moore
by Jennifer Moore


Jennifer Moore is the owner and operator of Moore Landscaping based in Elora, Ontario. Jennifer is a talented writer and landscape designer providing unique landscaping services.

Her website can be reached here...

September 12, 1999

Gloriosa Daisy, Yellow Coneflower, Black-eyed Susan and Rudbeckia are the many names people are calling this fabulous plant. The Rudbeckia family is a diverse one, but one thing they all have in common is their striking yellow flowers. With annual flowers looking worn out and scraggly and the majority of perennial flowers finished their blooming, the Rudbeckia is a wonderful sight.

Blooming starts late in the season, usually early to mid-August. The variance being unbelievable; short or tall varieties; small or large flowers, two-tone flower colours, and are single- or double-petalled. Even the foliage is different on the various varieties. With this difference in varieties, plantings of Rudbeckia are a welcoming addition to any garden. One plant will give a small garden area a lift, or if mass-planted it really makes a statement. I have seen a mass-planting in the early evening give a golden haze over the yard and what a view it was. This view gave me the inspiration to plant more into my own garden.

Terribly easy to grow from seed, simply allow the plants to go to seed in the garden, or sow seeds 1/4" deep in moist, soilless mix. The narrow leaves of the plant are dark green and rough to touch, therefore being easy to identify when wanting to transplant to another area of the garden.

Rudbeckia require full sun and moist soil to perform their best. They can be planted in a part-shade area but will reach for the sun. If planted in drier soil, be sure to provide them with adequate water weekly, otherwise they will give small, distorted flowers and are short-lived. Rudbeckia is also highly useful as a cut flower, as it holds it's colour and shape for several weeks.

Several varieties are available:


Thin, single-petalled, bright golden-yellow blossoms with a brown center, carried on 2 foot tall plants. Dark green, narrow leaves that are rough to the touch. Irish Eyes - Single-petalled, bright yellow blossoms feature a lime-green center. Unique blossoms to look at on their 3 foot tall stems. Medium green leaves are wider than "Goldstrum" and not as hairy.

Lanceleaf Rudbeckia

Double-petalled, bright lemon-yellow blossoms resembling pompoms, grace the top of this very tall plant. One stem will produce side branches, giving the gardener 8 to 10 blossoms. Reaching a height of 7 feet or more, it is a fabulous plant to place at the back of the border. It does require space for its expanding width as well, as it's doubles in size every year. As its name suggests, its leaves are deeply cut, large, smooth and medium green in colour.

Gloriosa Daisy

Perennial and annual varieties, this beauty is worth it in any garden. The flowers have a brown eye, with petals starting at the center in a burgundy-brown that transform to a golden-yellow edge. The blossoms can reach up to 6 inches across and are quite a sight, rising above their dark-green, narrow leaves. Different plant cultivars can be 10 inches to 2 feet tall.


An annual variety with round, single petals and a brown center. It grows 3 to 4 feet tall and stays narrow in growth with its medium green leaves. Goldquelle - A wonderful perennial for partial shade and wet areas. This plant has bright yellow, semi-double flowers with yellow centers, deeply-cut leaves and grows 1.5 to 2 feet tall.


An interesting plant, as its golden petals fall downwards to show its tall, dark brown, slightly pointed center. Growing 4 to 5 feet tall, it has very long stems that are great for arrangements. It is a tender perennial in Zone 5 and therefore needs a sheltered spot to pull in through the winter.


The striking flower contrast is why this annual is so popular. This plant sports a very dark brown, almost black, flat eye. It is surrounded by dark brown flower petals, with a small rim of bright gold at the very edge. Standing 2 to 3 feet tall with its dark green leaves, it is a real eye-catcher.

To give a twist to the regular yellow that we think of, another plant sporting the rudbeckia name is Rudbeckia Purpurea, or Purple Coneflower as it is commonly called. It also is in bloom now, grows 3 to 4 feet tall and has rose to light purple blossoms. There is a white variety "Alba", that has off-white blooms.

There are varieties of Rudbeckia suitable for everyone and every garden; growing in wet to dry areas, providing height and brightness everywhere.

TIP OF THE WEEK Be sure to remove fading flowers until two weeks before the first frost. Prune the blossom head and stem just above a set of lower leaves. This encourages more blooms to appear at the leaf axil where the leaves emerge. When using Rudbeckia as cut flowers in arrangements, submerse their cut ends into boiling water for 30 seconds before placing them into the arrangement. This guides the stems into the foam easier and helps them last longer.

Jennifer Moore

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