Rudbeckia occidentalis 'Black Beauty'
Common Name: coneflower
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: Black ringed with gold
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Drought

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates some part shade, but decreased flowering and weaker stems usually occur in too much shade. Best results are obtained in consistently moist, organically rich loams. It appreciates good air circulation. Deadhead spent flowers to encourage additional bloom.

Unlike some other types of rudbeckias, 'Black Beauty' is not drought tolerant.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Rudbeckia occidentalis, commonly called western coneflower, is a perennial coneflower that is native to moist mountain meadows, seeps and streambanks, typically at elevations from 4000 to 9000 feet, in the western U.S. from Washington to Montana south to California, Utah and Wyoming. Ray flowers are absent. Flowers bloom from July to September.

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 Western.

‘Black Beauty’ typically grows to 2-3' tall on stiff stems clad with lance-shaped dark green leaves. Each flower has a black central cone ringed with yellow pollen and subtended by narrow, bright green sepals radiating outward from the cone base. Best flower display for this cultivar is expected to be in June-July with sporadic continued bloom throughout the remaining part of the summer. U.S. Plant Patent PP12,648 was issued on May 28, 2002.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to powdery mildew. Watch for slugs and snails on small plants. Taller plants may need staking or other support.

Garden Uses

Borders. Cottage gardens. Wild gardens. Meadows. Groups or mass plantings. Good cut flower.