A glowing statuesque summer beauty! Branched, leafy stalks bear 3-4″ terminal flowers with back-tilted golden rays and greenish-yellow centers (thus one of the common names). The center cone elongates and becomes brownish as the seeds ripen. Attractive leaves are pinnately dissected (thus the other common name) and emerge early in spring. Basal leaves are quite large with petioles up to 4″ long, but leaves become smaller and shorter stalked as they ascend the stem.
Attracts birds and butterflies. Special value to native bees.
Prefers moist soils – but does great in average garden soils – and can tolerate periods of flooding. Because it spreads rampantly by underground stems, R. laciniata may be too enthusiastic a grower for a small site, but makes for an impressive colonial display if you have the room to give it! Divide clumps to control growth. Remove spent blooms to encourage a fall rebloom, but then leave seedheads up over winter for the goldfinches who love them! May need staking in garden situations. Provides erosion control.
Height: 5-9 ft.
Spread: 1.5-3 ft.
Bloom time: July to September
Sun: full sun to part shade
Water: medium to moist
Naturalize, rain gardens
According to Rutgers University, Rudbeckia are “seldom severely damaged” by deer.
photo credits: Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz