Plants We Love: Rudbeckia

July 3, 2012 at 10:32 pm
Rudbeckia goldstrum

This time of year, we love the look of Rudbeckia blooming in gardens throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Native to North America, Rudbeckia can often be found growing as a wildflower along roadsides and in fields. There are many types of Rudbeckia, with perhaps the most common being the Black Eyed Susan. Sometimes confused with coneflowers, Rudbeckia is most easily identified by its coarse-textured, hairy leaves that form daisy-like flowers.

One reason we love Rudbeckia is that is available in so many sizes and colors. There are 25 species of Rudbeckia including perennials, biennials and annuals. All are native to North America and are generally found growing in the East and Midwest. Dwarf varieties grow to just one foot tall, while the largest (such as Rudbeckia maxima) can grow as high as nine feet. In terms of color, this versatile plant is most commonly available in yellow or orange, but can also be found in shades of russet, bronze and mahogany.

Rudbeckia are easy to establish, naturalize well, require little maintenance other than deadheading, and have few insect or disease problems, making them a great plant to add to low maintenance commercial landscapes. They do particularly well in full sun or partial shade, and are hardy in USDA zones 4 to 9.

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