Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Giant coneflower

I loved the impact of Rudbeckia maxima, giant coneflower, when I first saw it growing. It has large, broad grayish-green leaves (giving it another common name of Cabbage-leaved coneflower), with tall flowering stems topped by lovely large 'flowers' -- actually a head of flowers, but no need to get too technical about it.

It's native to the Southeast and Central U.S., but is hardy farther north. A garden friend of mine wrote this nice piece for the BBG newsletter about it some time ago. He now has the attractive photo shown above accompanying the online catalog for his Loomis Creek Nursery website. Apparently, it's yet another one of our natives that was prized in Europe, and then came 'back' for us to use in our perennial gardens.

I had a couple of plants that were succumbing to shady conditions in a border that needs revamping, and having noticed that they both had new growth, and after we had heavy rains on Saturday, thought on Sunday, it was an ideal time to move them and see what might happen. I was surprised with a large number of smaller plants per spadeful.

Apparently, each mother plant had senesced (a nice botanical word for 'died'), leaving behind lots of new small offsets, which I proceeded to transplant around in various places. Hopefully, one or two of them will find their new home suitable.

Bluestone Perennials has another nice image of Rudbeckia maxima, which they also offer, shown on the left.

1 comment:

  1. I've never seen these before and I love the look of them - I'll have to keep my eyes open for them here.

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