Thursday, August 6, 2009


The images are of the heirloom perennial herb Rudbeckia laciniata "Golden Glow" aka "Hortensia". It is a cut leaf cone flower.

This Rudbeckia is very tall - mine is nearly 8 foot. It has bright double yellow flowers. Blooms in mid summer to early fall in sun to partial sun. It is hardy to Zone 4a.

I bought this one from Select Seeds two years ago. It immediately took root and has been very healthy. It spreads by runners and is termed a "vigorous spreader." It has not been aggressive in my garden.

The wild herb leaves were used in salads. Native Americans used it mixed with Blue Cohosh to relieve indigestion and as a poultice to relieve the pain of burns. The wild version is not double and looks like the typical yellow cone flower you can see on many roadsides. Rudbeckia was named after Olof Rudbeck (Jr. & Sr.) and the laciniata is Latin for deeply cut (referring to the leaves.) The wild version was nearly 12 foot tall.

If the tops are pinched off in June, it will be more bushy. 

Otherwise, it will be tall and may need to be staked. I have mine up against a fence. It is prone to mildew.

The flowers attract butterflies and bees. It is deer and rabbit resistant.

The flowers will stay pretty in a vase for at least a week.

The wild version of this flower is native to the United States, including Illinois. Golden Glow was hybridized in 1897. It was called the "outhouse plant" by early settlers and was often used to hide things.

Companion plants: purple asters and hollyhocks. This is a great plant for the back of a border, against fences and sheds, and where you need a huge bright splash of color in the fall. Because of the size and structure, it is a free formed plant making it perfect for informal or cottage gardens. Then, there is that whole "hide the outhouse" benefit that no one can resist!

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