Rudbeckia occidentalis 'Green Wizard'
Common Name: coneflower 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to September
Bloom Description: Purple to black disk atop green bracts
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer


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, 'Green Wizard' is not drought tolerant. It will bloom in the first year from seed planted in spring. For best results in the St. Louis area, start seed indoors in late February to early March. Plants may self-seed in the garden in optimum conditions.

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.

'Green Wizard' is a unique cultivar that typically grow to 3-5' tall and to 2' wide. Each ray-less flower (3 to 5" long) contains numerous tubular dark purple to black disk flowers in a large cylindrical head. Each flower is subtended by somewhat showy green leaf-like sepals. Ovate lower leaves (to 6" long) appear in basal clumps. Smaller upper stem leaves are stalkless with rounded to cordate bases.


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.


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