Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta) have become very popular in gardens, but I’d like to point out a couple of cousins that work particularly well in my shady clay-filled garden. Above is orange coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida), an enthusiastic grower and bloomer in several parts of the backyard. It needs some sun, but it seems to do well even with only a couple of hours a day. It’s very unfussy – I never touch the plants at all, just admire them.
Sweet black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia subtomentosa) is a newer addition to the front-yard rain garden. It’s not as exuberant (yet) as the R. fulgida, but it’s doing great in an extremely rainy year. The soil in the rain garden has not been amended much, but that doesn’t seem to stop it. I’m guessing that next year it will look even better.