Rudbeckia triloba AGM – brown-eyed Susan

Rudbeckia triloba
pic of louise sims
Louise Sims

‘Nothing flimsy about them’ – so wrote Christopher Lloyd about rudbeckias. Of course, he hit the nail right on the head, and it reminded me that it is this very dense quality that I often find a little overpowering in the genus. So, a couple of years ago I was delighted to be introduced to R triloba with its open habit and well-spaced wiry stems; in this respect it’s rather different from other rudbeckias.

It is a short-lived hardy perennial, some even call it a biennial, however it’s well worth growing because it flowers so generously and for such a long period. It may start flowering in August and will then continue on through September and October: it will battle on to the very end.

Grow it with the usual autumnal suspects – grasses, asters, and late tall blue salvias, or aconitum – it will give you weeks of pleasure and even on the dullest of rainy days will shine out like a ray of sunshine.

Brown-eyed Susan is very easy from seed: quick to germinate, it then grows by leaps and bounds and will almost certainly flower in its first year. It likes full sun best but will tolerate a bit of shade. If you’re lucky it may even self-seed!

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Great Plants this Month, Autumn

2 Comments

    1. Caroline here and I must say I agree. If God wanted me to try and fail at germinating seeds (the usual scenario) he wouldn’t have created perennials. More than happy to watch my rudbeckias come up every year from the comfort of my living room, but then I 100% lack Louise’s skills!

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