Rudbeckias

If you enjoy quilled petals, Rudbeckia subtomentosa 'Henry Eilers' is a very durable, easy to grow upright plant with small flowers consisting of almost tubular petals set round a small chestnut-brown middle. It was found growing in the wild, among ordinary rayed daisies, in a railroad prairie in Montgomery County, Illinois by a sharp-eyed local nurseryman of the same name. It was introduced in 2003 and soon became highly popular.

R. triloba is another North American native, but from the central eastern United States, and the three-lobed leaves reflect its name. It forms a bushy plant that's covered in small yellow daisies with crisp dark-brown middles, so this is show stopping when in full flow. The flowers last well into autumn, but this plant often flowers itself to death and rarely lasts more than three or four years. Once you’ve got it, you never want to be without it though.  





The classic, perennial yellow daisy is Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii  'Goldsturm'. This golden yellow daisy flowers from August until October, with golden yellow petals beautifully arranged round a central dark-brown disc. This superb plant, the best rudbeckia of all, was discovered by another sharp-eyed nurseryman, Heinrich Hagemann, in 1937 in the Czech Republic. Hagemann convinced his employer Karl Foerster of Potsdam, Germany to propagate his discovery. However the 'Goldsturm', which  translates as Gold Storm, was not released until 1949.

If you’ve a smaller garden try Rudbeckia fulgida 'Early Bird Gold' (PBR), a hybrid from ‘Goldsturm’ discovered by a grower in Plaquemine, Louisiana. He noticed that it flowered two months earlier, beginning in June.