Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia fulgida

This is one of the few cultivars that I offer because the straight species is very prone to downy mildew. 'Goldsturm' black-eyed Susan is a cultivar and is one of the most popular perennials in cultivation.

This herbaceous perennial has a clumping habit with erect stems that reach a height of 18 to 24 inches. The plant has bold dark green foliage, and the flower has rich yellow petal rays with a dark brown center disk. It is a nonstop show of flowers from mid-summer until the first frosts of fall. This cultivar is a member of the Asteraceae or daily family.

'Goldsturm' black-eye Susan performs best in full sun and moist, well-drained soils. It is tolerant of partial shade and once established it will become more drought tolerant. To prevent foliar disease good air circulation is needed, particularly in humid climates. Deadheading spent blooms will promote reblooming throughout the season. Remove the dead foliage in the fall. The plant will spread via its rhizomes, and it may also be propagated by division.

It is easy to grow and requires very little maintenance. The cultivar is more compact than other species and has large flowers measuring up to 4 inches in diameter. Butterflies and bees are attracted to its blooms.

Consider using it in a mass planting in a border, cottage garden, meadow, or naturalized area. This reblooming and long-lasting flower will add bold color to any late summer and fall garden.

Sources:,, other authoritative resources and personal experience.