Rudbeckia – Black Eyed Susan




There are many varieties of Rudbeckia – I’ve yet to meet one that I didn’t like! Sturdy perennials with cheerful flowers, most are well-adapted to Oklahoma’s challenging climate.

Brown-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia triloba)

Choosing a favorite flower is like playing favorites with your grandchildren. But if I had to make a list, Rudbeckia triloba would be on it.

Carefree, bushy plants bloom in August or September in an explosion of small, bright yellow flowers. It’s fabulous as a bouquet filler. Native from New England to Minnesota south to Georgia & Oklahoma. Biennial or short-lived perennial, often self-seeds. Heat and drought tolerant, low maintenance, attracts bees & butterflies. The Latin name triloba refers to the leaves at the base of the plant, which are three-lobed.

Henry Eilers (Rudbeckia subtomentosa)

$5 for 3” re-used plastic pot

‘Henry Eilers’ is a unique and delightful native perennial with quilled, yellow petals encircling a brown dome-shaped center. Makes a fantastic cut flower. Summer bloomer, grows 3-6’ tall, drought tolerant, attracts butterflies. Full sun.

Named after a well-known nurseryman who discovered this cultivar growing in a wild patch of prairie next to railroad tracks in southern Illinois.

I have the regular Henry Eilers that grow 3-5’ tall, and a “dwarf” version– not a big difference. Add a note to your order if you prefer one or the other.

Great Coneflower (Rudbeckia maxima)

This giant of a flower will catch the eye of anyone within sight of it! The large, blue-green leaves at the base of the plant look a bit like cabbage leaves, earning it the nickname of Cabbage Leaf Coneflower.  The flower stalks will reach 4 or 5 feet in height, and are topped by deep yellow flowers with a brown center cone. A perennial native to Oklahoma, it prefers full sun and medium-dry soil. Butterflies and bees appreciate its blooms in summer, and birds will enjoy feeding on the seeds in the fall. Its roots are rhizomatous, so it will form colonies and slowly spread; it starts off the first year with just a few flower stalks, then increases year by year. An absolute favorite on our block.

Sweet Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia subtomentosa)

Long-lived perennial, with numerous 3” flowers. A tough prairie plant, it is able to tolerate wind and poor soils. Full/partial sun. Late summer/fall blooms.

Orange Coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida)

A butterfly favorite! Orange coneflower blooms mid-summer to fall. Plants form a mounded profile. Prolong flowering by dead-heading. Prefers full to partial sun, 2 – 3’ height, space 1-2’ apart. Deer resistant. ‘Goldsturm’ is a long-blooming cultivar, earning the 1999 Perennial Plant of the Year award.

Rudbeckia – Black Eyed Susan