Your midsummer flowers are fading, your herbaceous border looking tired, and your spring cottage garden plants are a vague memory. But fear not! For here comes a colourful hero to take us into the Autumn! Rudbeckias come in many forms, all of which can give your garden that late season burst of life it often needs. Flowering in mostly yellows, but with oranges, burnt-oranges and chocolate-burgundy variations too, this floriferous star performer explodes into life in late summer. Working well in prairie-style borders, they are perfectly set off against tall grasses, which are also coming into their own at this time of year. They can give height as well as colour to a bed, but can also be used in containers, with ‘Little Goldstar’ an especially well suited, compact and hardy form.
As well as traditional forms, such as ‘Goldsturm’ which is free-flowering and easy to grow with star-shaped deep yellow blooms, there are a number of more recent additions to the family. ‘Summerina’ are cross bred with Echinacea, they are hardy and have a neat compact habit, with long lasting, showy blooms, perfect for a patio container. ‘Toto’ aren’t as hardy and are best treated as an annual, but they are another fabulous, compact variety, smothered in flowers throughout late summer. But whatever form you choose; one thing is for certain: they will bring sunshine and joy to your pots and borders.
Common Name: Cone Flower/Black-Eyed-Susan
Botanical Name: Rudbeckia
Flowering Time: July to October
Height and Spread: 50cm-2m x 50cm-2m (depending on variety.)
Aspect: Full sun or partial shade (Moist but well drained.)
Hardiness: Hardy and perennial (depending on variety.)