Cutleaf Coneflower, Rudbeckia laciniata

Also known as the Green-Head Coneflower, it is a herbaceous perennial that grows 3 to 10 feet tall with a tall and lanky appearance, although it may only reach half that height when cultivated. The plant prefers moist soil, but grows well in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade and is often found in woods, meadows, streambanks, and roadside ditches. The plant tolerates hot, humid summers, but can spread aggressively by underground rhizomes.

To keep the plant under control, divide clumps and deadhead old flowers to encourage rebloom. Green-Head Coneflower displays 2 to 4 inch yellow flowers from late summer into the fall. Foliage is divided into 1 or 2 pairs of toothed lobes on the bottom leaves, while upper leaves may or may not be lobed. A rosette of leaves that originate at the base of the stem persists through the winter, creating an attractive winter ground cover.

Butterflies are attracted to nectar from the blooms and songbirds, especially American Goldfinches, eat the seed in the fall. It is moderately deer resistant. Good for meadows and open areas.

This plant was selected as the 1995 NC Wildflower of the Year, a program managed by the North Carolina Botanical Garden

Photo by Kerry-Woods. CC-BY-NC-ND

Sources:,, other authoritative resources and personal experience.