Great Plants this Month Autumn

Rudbeckia triloba AGM – brown-eyed Susan

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!

NB Louise has published a beautifully produced book of her plant profiles – A Plant for Each Week of the Year. It costs £9.99 and is for sale in our online shop here.

More NB: If you’d like a bit more gardening chit-chat from the3growbags,just enter your email address here and we’ll send you a new post every Saturday morning

By the3growbags

We're three sisters who love gardening, plants and even the science of horticulture but we're not all experts. We'd love everyone even remotely interested in their gardens to be part of our blogsite.

2 replies on “Rudbeckia triloba AGM – brown-eyed Susan”

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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