Black Eyed Susan

P9045640Each year with the given weather conditions during the season, the weather brings the best out in certain perennial varieties.   This year – that perennial is the Rudbeckia Goldsturm – commonly called Black Eyed Susan.  Wow! is the only way to describe it.  It has been in it’s glory for almost two months now and will continue to bloom and delight until frost!

This hardy perennial will reach a height of only 30″ and the clumps are about 18″ wide.  The versatility of this variety of Coneflower makes it a must have for almost any landscape.  The clump in this picture is anchoring a row of spruce trees – just a nice clump or two at the end of the landscape bed where it narrows down accents evergreen trees.  Rudbeckia also is the star in a cottage garden arrangement – or in mass with ornamental grasses and purple coneflower.   Try it with other perennials with different color combinations – purple heuchera – Russian Sage – the list is endless.   Mix it in with shrub plantings and you will have color amongst the shrubs during the summer. 

Another feature of the Rudbeckia – like its other coneflower relatives – is the winter interest.  Leave it stand until spring and during the late fall/early winter, frost will collect on it’s branches and then when the sun hits it, it will glisten.  Birds will be attracted to the seeds that are available inside the seed head.  By using perennials with winter interest in mind – you can actually “garden” all year long – in Minnesota!

The label shows that it is a full sun perennial – however – we have several clumps at home (in the woods) and one is in only about 3 hours of sun a day and it is incredible.  We have it in our boulder garden with a weeping hemlock and it lights up the shade!  We have several next to the house where it is shaded at least half the day and we have several clumps out in our hosta garden where these receive only about 4 hours of light each day.