Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii 'Goldsturm'

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 12 Professionals
Common Name: black-eyed Susan
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to September
Bloom Description: Yellow rays with black center disk
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Clay Soil, Dry Soil, Air Pollution

Culture

Easily grown in average, moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Best bloom occurs in full sun, although plants will tolerate some light shade. Plants prefer consistent moisture throughout the growing season. Established plants have some tolerance for drought. Good air circulation is appreciated. Deadhead spent flowers to encourage additional bloom. Plants slowly spread in the garden by rhizomes.

Plants do not come true from seed (must be vegetatively propagated). Some nurseries sell seed-grown plants, however, as Goldsturm strain.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Rudbeckia fulgida is a Missouri native which occurs in both dry and moist soils in open woods, glades and thickets. An upright, rhizomatous, clump-forming, free-blooming coneflower which typically grows to 3' tall, often forming colonies in the wild. Features daisy-like flowers (to 2.5" across) with yellow rays and brownish-purple center disks. Prolific bloom production over a long mid-summer to fall bloom period. Oblong to lanceolate, medium green foliage. Good cut flower.

Var. sullivantii, commonly called Sullivant's coneflower, is native to swamps, shorelines, fens and sedge meadows from New York to West Virginia west to Michigan, Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas. Var. sullivantii is not commonly sold because of the extreme popularity of its ornamentally upscale cultivar ‘Goldsturm’.

Genus name honors Olof Rudbeck (1630-1702) Swedish botanist and founder of the Uppsala Botanic Garden in Sweden where Carl Linnaeus was professor of botany.

Specific epithet means shining or glistening.

'Goldsturm' is an upright, rhizomatous, clump-forming perennial which typically grows 2-3' tall. Features large, daisy-like flowers (3-4" across) with deep yellow rays and dark brownish-black center disks. Flowers appear singly on stiff, branching stems in a prolific, long-lasting, mid-summer-to-fall bloom. Oblong to lanceolate, dark green foliage. Good fresh cut flower. ‘Goldsturm’ is a slightly more compact plant (to 2' tall) with larger and brighter flowers (to 4" diameter) than the species or variety. 'Goldsturm' was introduced in 1937. It won the 1999 Perennial Plant of the Year award. 'Goldsturm' today is one of the most popular garden perennials in cultivation.

Problems

A common problem of this cultivar is angular leaf spot caused by a bacterium. The disease causes brown or black angular spots on the leaves which can expand to blacken the whole leaf. Infection begins on the lower leaves and moves up the plant. Rudbeckias are also susceptible to septoria leaf spot and powdery mildew.

Garden Uses

Mass in bold drifts in the perennial border, cottage garden, prairie, meadow or naturalized area. Provides excellent bloom and color for late summer.