Rudbeckia fulgida - Orange Coneflower
Family: Asteraceae (Compositae)

Hear the scientific name

Rudbeckia fulgida is a perennial primarily known through its extremely popular cultivar 'Goldsturm' that is noted for its magnificent mid- to late-summer yellow-orange-petaled, black-centered flowers that rise above the dark green basal foliage. Orange Coneflower is commonly seen as a specimen in beds, in mass embankment or roadside plantings, or naturalized in neglected urban areas.

Alternate common name: Black Eyed Susan

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  form Form

-small- to medium-sized herbaceous perennial

-species form matures at 3' tall x 3' wide, but cultivars are smaller

-upright clump growth habit

foliage Foliage

-alternate, dark green, ovate, and sparsely dentate, with the lower leaves originating from the crown having petioles, but the upper leaves sessile on the flowering stems

-leaves emerge pubescent but become rough to the touch by summer, but are not nearly as pubescent or hirsute as the species Rudbeckia hirta, the annual 'Black-Eyed Susan'

-basal foliage may be semi-evergreen in mild winters, but is not ornamentally attractive and often unnoticed

Flowers
flowers

-the yellow-orange ray flowers (petals) surround the black disk flowers (cone-shaped center), at the numerous terminals of the continuously branching stems

-each flower lasts about 2 weeks, with the overall bloom time for about 3-4 weeks anytime from late July to early Sept., depending on the intensity of the heat and drought of the season (drought encourages early bloom and senescence)

Fruit
fruit

-the yellow-orange petals slowly fade to a withered yellow-brown, which slowly abscise to reveal the black spherical fruiting heads

-the seed heads are usually left on the plant for a subtle ornamental effect in winter (but this promotes a copious amount of self-sowing in the immediate vicinity, and they can be deadheaded after bloom to prevent this potential liability)

Twig

-not applicable

Trunk

-not applicable

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Culture

-full sun to partial shade

-performs best in full sun in moist, well-drained soils, but is very adaptable to dry soils, compacted soils, thin soils, drought, and soils of various pH

-propagated primarily by clump division in very early spring, but also prolific in its self-sowing nature by seeds, forming wide-spreading crowns after 3 or more yrs. of establishment and reseeding

-Daisy Family, with leaf spot being the only minor cosmetic disease of significance

-abundantly available in container form

-prune dead stems back to the ground every late winter to allow new growth to emerge unimpeded; however, if self-sowing is to be curtailed, the stems must be sheared back and discarded in mid-autumn before the seed heads mature

Hardiness

-zones 4 to 8

Origin

-native to the U.S.

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Assets

-spectacular yellow-orange flowers with black "eyes" in mid-summer

-subtle ornamental winter effect of persistent black fruiting heads

-urban tolerant (to drought, thin soils, and neglect)

-naturalizes via self-sowing

Liabilities

-vigorous crown growth and a strong tendency to self-sow will severely encroach on surrounding perennials or small shrubs within 2-3 yrs. from the initial planting, unless the triple maintenance of deadheading, seedling rogueing, and crown division occur on a yearly basis

Function

-beds, borders, entranceways, raised planters, meadows, or any naturalized sunny areas

Texture

-bold texture

-thick density

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Varieties and Cultivars - Search OSU PlantFacts for additional plants in this species

Alternates

-perennials of mid- to late-summer flowering known for their dependable performance during hot weather (Heliopsis helianthoides, Hemerocallis, Lilium, Miscanthus, Perovskia, Phlox paniculata, Sedum 'Herbstfreude' ['Autumn Joy'], etc.)

-perennials of yellow-orange or golden flowers (various species and cultivars of Coreopsis, Gaillardia, Heliopsis, Hemerocallis, Lilium, Rudbeckia, etc.)

 


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