Rudbeckia Review

Orange coneflower

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

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.


4 responses to this post.

  1. The R. hirta are in fact very versatile–I have some clumps in aeras that are technically shade, but they still bloom and are colorful. 🙂


  2. I have a couple of Rudbeckias and I don’t give them the sun they need but they still bloom like crazy! It is funny to see them attempt to lean out of the shade and into the sun just a couple of feet away.


  3. Posted by lakechicagoshores on August 3, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    Sounds like the consensus is that all of the Rudbeckia can handle shade pretty well! My R. subtomentosa is going to town now – I should have waited a week so I could have had a picture full of flowers.


  4. Hooray for rudbeckias in mostly shade – they do wonderfully well for me too. I have cultivars – Herbstsonne (yellow shuttlecock blooms – 6′ tall,) and Goldsturm and both bloom their heads off with just a couple hours of sun a day.


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