Perennial Black Eyed Susan – Orange Coneflower


Rudbeckia Fulgida, commonly known as Orange Coneflower is a perennial native to the Eastern United States and Canada. Also known as Perennial Black-Eyed Susan, it has very showy yellow daisy like flowers with black discs. Blooming for 2 months in late summer to fall, it is a great landscaping plant.

Rudbeckia Fulgida paired with Anise Hyssop

Now lets take a look at the reference table with some key facts about Rudbeckia Fulgida:

Orange Coneflower Reference Table

Scientific NameRudbeckia fulgida
Common NamesOrange Coneflower, Perennial Black Eyed Susan
Height 3′ (1 m)
Spacing24″ (60 cm)
SunlightFull sun, partial shade
Soil TypeClay, loam, Sand
Soil Moisturemoist to dry
Bloom Time & DurationMid-summer to Fall, lasting approximately 6-9 weeks
Bloom ColorYellow
Larval HostCommon Eupithecia, Blackberry Looper, Wavy-lined Emerald, Sunflower Moth
Native RangeTexas to Wisconsin/Ottawa – and Eastwards
Zone3-9
Notes:High wildlife value, Showy, Great Cut-Flower, Long Bloom Duration

Growing Conditions

Orange Coneflower grows best in Full sun and well drained soil with medium moisture. Although, it can tolerate slightly moist or slightly dry conditions as well.

If the soil is fertile, it will be quite prolific and vigorous. But, this flower in poorer soils (mine, for example). However, if the soil is devoid of organic matter and dry, the blooms may not form right and lower leaves may turn yellow.

Garden Uses

Rudbeckia Fulgida will bloom for 2 months in late summer, producing dozens of yellow blooms approximately 3″ diameter. They are an excellent choice to any flower bed, wildflower garden, or micro-prairie. There is no need to pay garden centers big bucks as it is easy to grow from seed although it probably won’t bloom it’s first year.

Also, you can get creative with this flower and put it on your deck! Orange Coneflower can be grown in containers if done correctly.

Did you know that Rudbeckia Fulgida can grow well in CLAY? Find out other clay-loving flowers here!

Dead Heading Perennial Black Eyed Susan

Rudbeckia Fulgida can be deadheaded to prolong blooming period into the first frost. To do this, follow the stalk from a spent bloom down to the next leaf. Snip off the stem just above the leaf, and discard.

Cut Flower

Like other members of the Rudbeckia genus, Orange Coneflower makes an excellent cut flower. The blooms will last for a week or more in a vase.

Fauna associations

Insects

Rudbeckia Fulgida produces both pollen and nectar, which means that Orange Coneflower will attract both bees and butterflies. So, everything from leaf-cutter bees, Halictid bees, skippers, small butterflies and tiny pollinating flies will visit. Additionally there are several moths described in the reference table above whose caterpillars feed on the foliage.

Mammals

Young tender foliage of Rudbeckia Fulgida will be eaten by deer, rabbits, groundhogs, and several other mammals. If damage is noticed, you should apply Liquid Fence, which can be found on our recommended products page.

Orange Coneflower / Rudbeckia Fulgida Identification

Generally found in small to large colonies in open fields, roadside ditches, and open woods, Rudbeckia Fulgida is fairly easy to identify by the leaves, and bloom time.

Stalk Stem

The stalk will have branching and sparsely covered in small white hairs.

Leaves

Leaves will be alternate, and oviate in shape with larger serrations along the margins. They will have a dark green color. Leaves are generally hairless, but some specimens may have small amounts of hairs.

Flower

Blooms are generally 2-3″ diameter, yellow to dark yellow and daisy like in appearance. The plant is very showy, producing numerous blooms.

After blooming for approximately 2 months, seeds will form after the petals have withered. Seeds will form on the disc, which will eventually attract birds – mostly finches. Although it does not seem to be as preferred a food source as Echinacea or Coreopsis seeds.

Harvesting all Black Eyed Susan seeds is quite easy. We’ve written a detailed guide that I highly recommend you check out. We made a ‘new’ process for harvesting all Rudbeckia seed that completely separates the chaff. Click below to see how!

Root

Black Eyed Susan’s have a fibrous roots and rhizomes. Colonies can form via these rhizome roots.

Variations

There are many different varieties and hybrids of Perennial Black Eyes Susan that are available for seed purchase, or even as plants in garden centers. So, it is quite easy to find one that suits you. The most common is probably Rudbeckia Goldstrum, but there are others as well.

An Orange Coneflower that has been blooming for over a month, in a drought. Still making color!

The true straight native species will attract the most pollinators though. So, I highly recommend you stick to those. But, if you would like to read about some other varieties that could suit you, check out our article below that covers many more types of Rudbeckia!

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perennial black eyed susan orange coneflower

Joe Foster

Hi - I grew up outdoors in nature - hiking, fishing, hunting. In high school I got my first job at a garden center where I learned to garden and landscape. I've been growing plants from seed and designing native plant gardens for over six years. I hope to share some of my knowledge with you! Additionally I am a wood worker / DIY enthusiast. I enjoy designing/building projects (with hand tools when I can!). I hope to give you some tips and useful information!

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