Goldsturm Black Eyed Susan
Black eyed Susan may seem too common to mention but it is so easy to grow and provides such cheerful, long lasting color that it should have a place in every garden. This selected form of the coneflower is a true perennial, coming back with larger clumps every year. You will always be able to divide it and spread it throughout your garden, from clay soils to sandy soils and drier spots to moister locations. For most areas, Rudbeckia is deer resistant, however you may want to test it first. It can be drought tolerant but seems to appreciate a deep soak every week or so. The deep golden yellow petals surround a brown cone on a sturdy stem that is great for cut flowers. The flowers bloom in succession from mid summer to frost and even when the petals are gone the cones make a pretty sillouette in the winter. The best reason for leaving the seedheads up is to watch the yellow finches land on them and peck away at the seeds. You can then prune the stems back anytime from fall to spring, and a new flush of leaves will appear in late spring. Rudbeckia look great in a large mass or combined with other jewel- toned perennials or ornamental grasses. 'Goldstrum' can get about 3' tall and plan on it spreading to at least 2' wide; more after a couple of years unless you divide it. Try this low maintenance perennial that needs no staking or extra care.