Rudbeckia fulgida, Eastern or Orange Coneflower

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

This species of coneflower, distinct from Rudbeckia hirta, the annual “Black-Eyed Susan,” features long-lasting and abundant “daisy-like” flowers that attract butterflies mid-summer to fall. Its native habitat is found in scattered pockets in the Mid-Atlantic Region, including in Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William Counties.

Watch pollinators and a predator on the Rudbeckia fulgida in the Glencarlyn Library Community Garden in July and August while annual cicadas sing in the background. Video © 2016-17 Mary Free
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Print Version: Rudbeckia fulgida, Eastern or Orange ConeflowerRudbeckia fulgida Eastern or Orange Coneflower Perennial Height: 11⁄2–31⁄2 feet Spread: 2–21⁄2 feet Bloom Color: Yellow-orange Characteristics Herbaceous perennial forming upright clumps Basal foliage emerges in early spring, but flower stalks do not appear until mid-summer Hairy stems with dark green, sparsely-haired leaves Purple-brown, tubular disk florets are encircled by yellow ray florets notched at tips; blooms July to October with each flower lasting several weeks Attributes Tolerates various soil types (including clay), light shade, drought, heat, humidity, air pollution; no serious pests or diseases; if deer are overpopulated may be more susceptible to damage than R. hirta Subtle ornamental effect of persistent black fruiting heads in winter Can be used as cut or dried flower Attracts butterflies and other pollinators and birds; larval host to Silvery Checkerspot butterfly Growing and Maintenance Tips Soil Requirements: Average, well-drained Light Requirements: Sun, Partial Shade Water Requirements: Dry, Moist Blooms best in sun; deadhead for continued bloom Prune to ground late winter; divide early spring It is native in DC; historical in the DE Piedmont; and scattered in southeastern counties of PA. In VA, it is frequent in the Piedmont but infrequent in the mountains and inner Coastal Plain. Syrphid flies (also known as hover flies or flower flies) frequent the flowers of Rudbeckia species. Use massed in border, cutting or meadow garden Hardiness: USDA Zones 3–9 Excellent Replacement for Leucanthemum species - Ox-Eye & Shasta Daisies Rudbeckia hirta - Black-Eyed Susan (annual) Tanacetum species - Tansy Zinnia species - Zinnia (annual)
Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets