Rudbeckia fulgida, the perennial Black Eyed Susan, is one of the most popular landscaping flowers in the U.S. for good reason. It is not picky about soil. It loves the sun and will tolerate heat and humidity. It is a show-stopping color accent that blooms profusely from mid-summer to fall.
My Aunt Charlotte and I admiring a clump of Rudbeckia 'Goldstrum' growing in her back yard in Connecticut.
If that isn't enough reason to grow this 3 foot tall beauty, try this: Its rhizomatous roots form clumps which can be easily divided, making it easy to propagate.
It also makes a good cut flower and bugs don't seem to bother it. Goldfinches dine on the seeds in the fall. Any that they leave will lend interest to the winter landscape.
The bright gold daisy-like flowers are perfectly accented by their chocolate brown centers. Few landscaping flowers are as showy as a Black Eyed Susan in full flush. They blend well with other plants and look especially stunning positioned alongside ornamental grasses.
Black eyed Susans ring a roebelenii palm in Sarasota, FL.
The best way to use Rudbeckia fulgida in the garden is to plant it in large drifts in the perennial border or in a big circle under a tree in the center of the lawn. Some gardeners like to plant it behind a shorter flower to hide its coarse foliage.
Regular deadheading will prolong the bloom season.
It will also prevent volunteers from popping up in unexpected places the following season.
The clumps will become overcrowded in a few years if you don't divide them. Spring is the best time to do this.
This plant is well suited to USDA zones 3-10.
Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' (sometimes misspelled Rudbeckia 'Goldstrum') is the most popular black eyed Susan perennial growing in the U.S. today.
With its huge yellow-orange coneflowers and big deep chocolate centers, it's easy to see why Rudbeckia fulgida Goldsturm is such a hit.
Each bloom consists of 12-15 long, narrow petals that curve downward. The petals meet in the middle underneath a raised, round ball in which the black eyed Susan seeds develop.
The flowers are held atop stiff stems as much as 40 inches tall. They arrive in late July and continue through early October.
Black Eyed Susan flowers are the glory of the late summer garden. For best effect, plant perennial Rudbeckia in large drifts or dot groups of 5-7 plants throughout your flower beds and borders.
Set Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' plants 18-24 inches apart in average soil for best results. Although this variety will tolerate poor soil, a moderately fertile and moist media will encourage better performance.
Full sun to part shade will work as Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldsturm' is not picky about exposure.
This is a tough, low-maintenance landscape plant which will withstand drought and considerable neglect. It is also mildew and deer resistant.
Buy Rudbeckia 'Herbstonne' a 6' Giant for the back of the border.
Buy Black-Eyed Susan 'Deamii' for more intense color.
Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' the most well-known and widely-grown fulgida.
Black Eyed Susan Vine, Thunbergia alata.
Rudbeckia 'Prairie Sun' is an annual Rudbeckia hirta variety.
Ratibida pinnata is a perennial wildflower.