Seed World

Year of the Rudbeckia

Origin:  Rudbeckias are North American natives. It’s found in all 48 contiguous states as well as all 10 provinces of Canada.

Family: Asteraceae

Other Names: Coneflowers

History: As natives to North America, rudbeckias have been in the U.S. for a long time. But North American botanist John Bartram sent seeds of the native Rudbeckia to Ruope via Englishman Peter Collins. From there, Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) came across Rudbeckia seeds and named them after a teacher at Uppsala University in Sweden, Olof Rudbeck. Apparently, Rudbeckias — due to their tall nature — reflected Rudbeck’s tall stature, and the petals bore “witness that you shone among savants like the sun among the stars.”

Traits: Rudbeckias are known for rugged durability, extreme heat tolerance, and summer-long flower power — all of which make it one of the most popular perennials sold in North America.

State Flower: Rudbeckias are actually the official state flower of Maryland.

Symbolism: Rudbeckias symbolize justice, resilience and encouragement.

Basic Variety Types: There are a lot of popular rudbeckia species, including: rudbeckia hirta, rudbeckia fulgida, rudbeckia laciniata, rudbeckia grandiflora, rudbeckia maxima, rudbeckia occidentalis, rudbeckia triloba, rudbeckia missouriensis, rudbeckia subtomentosa and the rudbeckia amplexicaulis.

Popular Varieties: A few of the most popular species on the market are:

  • R. fulgida Goldsturm
  • R. fulgida Goldblitz
  • R. fulgida Little Goldstar
  • R. fulgida American Gold Rush
  • R. grandiflora Sundance
  • R. hirta Amarillo Gold
  • R. hirta Autumn Colors
  • R. hirta Cappuccino
  • R. hirta Cherokee Sunset
  • R. triloba Blackjack Gold
  • R. triloba Prairie Glow

Did You Know?: Leaving rudbeckia seed heads on to dry can attract birds, but, rudbeckias are actually deer-resistant!

Breeders: Jung Seed, Pinetree, Brent and Becky’s, Seeds ‘N Such, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Breck’s, Monrovia, Osborne Quality Seeds, Territorial Seed Company, Proven Winners, True Leaf Market, Botanical Interests, Gurney’s, Harris Seeds, American Meadows, Silver Falls, McKenzie, Park Seed, Meadows Farms, Select Seeds, Rohrer Seeds, Hoss, Eden Brothers, Earl May

Sources: National Garden Bureau