Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Really Nice Rudbeckia

I got this floriferous perennial from a friend I know from my days at NYBG. She had it growing in her City Island (Bronx) garden for years, and allowed me to take a few clumps, which I planted in the school garden. She said it came via NYBG, probably from the native garden when we all worked there. I have not been able to figure out exactly which species it is, and have not seen it elsewhere yet, not even at NYBG. I presume it must be a southern species, possibly a rarish one. It is the best of the rudbeckias (and I have never met one that I didn't like) that I have grown in terms of neatness, good foliage, and floriferousness. The smooth dark green foliage is more attractive than the otherwise excellent, if overused, garden workhorse R. fulgida "Goldsturm", and the flowers appear later in the summer. It also does not get mildew, as R. triloba is sometimes prone to. The flowers are smaller than Goldsturm, and last a really long time, in fact there were still some flowers when frost finally arrived in November. This species seeds around a bit, but young plants are easily moved or removed as needed. It makes a bold statement in the garden and looks great when the students return for school in September.

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