Monarch butterflies are delightful summer visitors which are attracted by the blooms of Rudbeckia among other perennial flowers. There are several varieties of Rudbeckia giving a wide choice of color and flower shape so it is a case of experimenting to see which grows best in your location. The three Rudbeckia are described in an article by Margaret Roach which I found on her A Way To Garden website.
ONCE MORE MONARCH BUTTERFLIES shared the joy of July-through-September Rudbeckia season with me. Now, sadly, those butterflies are fewer here, but the biggest, most giving Rudbeckia I grow, ?Herbstsonne,? keeps putting out its flowers like a beacon, just in case they show up in droves again. With it as inspiration, in recent years I tried two new-to-me Rudbeckia: ?Henry Eilers,? and ?Prairie Glow.?
Whether we call them black-eyed susans or coneflowers, there are a couple of dozen species of Rudbeckia, an American genus in the Compositae or Asteraceae or simply ?Daisy family? that has produced many popular garden perennials, biennials and even annuals.
I long ago stopped growing ?Goldsturm,? from the species R. fulgida, probably the most familiar Rudbeckia of all. Like many gardeners, I planted lots when ?Goldsturm? was first popularized (along with Sedum ?Autumn Joy? and purple coneflower, remember?) and guess I OD?d on it. A good plant, but here are three I like better:
MY LONGEST Rudbeckia relationship has proven to be ?Herbstsonne,? whose name translates as autumn sun and earned a Royal Horticulture Society Award of Garden Merit in 2002. Whether it is Rudbeckia nitida or?Rudbeckia laciniata or a hybrid of the two, I do not know; depends who you ask.
It has been with me more years than I can recall?certainly a decade-plus, and probably more like 15. What is now a big clump reliably erupts around July at the far side of the property, on a direct axis from where I work all day. Though I sit more than 100 feet away, there is no missing this 6-plus-footer with months of vivid yellow flowers.
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