RUDBECKIA Coneflower

A popular perennial, used to provide long-lasting colour in late summer and autumn. Plant breeders have been able to produce some excellent compact varieties to replace the old-fashioned sorts and there are double-flowered types now available. But the colour range has not really been extended – the Rudbeckias remain either yellow or orange. The blooms last well in water – flower-heads which are not cut for indoors should be removed once the petals have faded. Add organic matter at planting time and stake the stems to support the large heads. Cut the plants down to ground level in late autumn.

VARIETIES: R. fulgida (R. deamii) produces dark-centred star-like flowers – plant details are height 2-3 ft. Spacing 2 ft.

Flowering period: July-September. The old.favourite variety speciosa has now been replaced by ‘Goldsturm’ (2 ft high, 5 in. blooms). The giants are varieties of the green-centred R. laciniata – height 2 Vi -7 ft. Spacing 2-3 ft.

Flowering period: July-September. At the back of the border grow ‘Autumn Sun’ or ‘Golden Glow’. For the middle of the border there is the more compact ‘Goldquelle’ (2.5 ft. double-flowered).

SITE AND SOIL: Any reasonable garden soil will do – thrives in sun or light shade.

PROPAGATION: Divide clumps in autumn or spring.

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