Rudbeckia fulgida – Viette’s Little Suzy
Easily grown in dry to medium, organically rich to average, well-drained soils in full sun. Best bloom occurs in full sun, although plants will tolerate some light shade. Plants prefer consistent moisture throughout the growing season, with some tolerance for drought once established. Good air circulation is appreciated. Deadhead spent flowers to encourage additional bloom. Plants slowly spread in the garden by rhizomes.
Rudbeckia fulgida which occurs in both dry and moist soils in open woods, glades and thickets. An upright, rhizomatous, clump-forming, free-blooming coneflower which typically grows to 3′ tall, often forming colonies in the wild. Features daisy-like flowers (to 2.5″ across) with yellow rays and brownish-purple center disks. Prolific bloom production over a long mid-summer to fall bloom period. Oblong to lanceolate, medium green foliage. Good cut flower.
Genus name honors Olof Rudbeck (1630-1702) Swedish botanist and founder of the Uppsala Botanic Garden in Sweden where Carl Linnaeus was professor of botany.
Specific epithet means shining or glistening.
VIETTE’S LITTLE SUZY is a compact, upright, rhizomatous, clump-forming, free-blooming coneflower which typically grows only 10-15″ tall. Features daisy-like flowers with yellow rays and dark brownish-purple center disks. Prolific flower production over a long mid-summer-to-fall bloom period. Oblong to lanceolate, medium green foliage. Good fresh cut flower.
No serious insect or disease problems.
Mass in bold drifts in the perennial border, cottage garden, meadow, native plant garden or naturalized area. Provides excellent bloom and color for the late summer. Good cut flower.
A compact cultivar.
Solidago sphacelata – ‘Golden Fleece’ Dwarf Goldenrod
Another fantastic Mt. Cuba introduction. A stunning show of sprays of golden yellow flowers from mid-August through September. Semievergreen heart-shaped leaves. Truly an excellent groundcover and bee and butterfly charmer! Hairstreaks, sulphurs and skippers are particularly attracted to goldenrod. Monarchs visit it during their autumn migration.
Goldenrod Interesting Notes
Golden Fleece autumn goldenrod was discovered in 1985 as a spontaneous garden seedling in Eden, North Carolina. It was evaluated under diverse conditions at Mt. Cuba Center and determined to be a low-growing, compact form of the species suitable for use as an herbaceous perennial groundcover only reaching 18” tall. Multi-branched stems arise from basal rosettes of broadly rounded foliage and are covered with a profusion of golden-yellow floral spires from mid-September to October. It performs best in full sun with average moisture but is tolerant of a range of conditions from sunny and dry to partial shade. 'Golden Fleece' is hardy in zones 3-8. It won the Internationale Stauden-Union’s Award for an outstanding new plant in Switzerland in 1994. – Mt. Cuba Center
In many of the gardens I design, I use goldenrod to give late summer and fall gardens just the right autumnal color. Luckily for urban dwellers with limited gardening space, goldenrod also can be grown quite successfully in a container. Beautiful in the garden, goldenrod does double-duty as a long-lived cut flower. In Europe, where goldenrod has long been shown the appreciation it deserves, it is sold by the bunch, and gardening catalogs offer more cultivars than are available in the States.
Solidago sphacelata 'Golden Fleece' Growing and Maintenance Tips
Native to calcarous woodlands and rocky pastures from Virginia to Illinois south to Kentucky and Georgia. Prefers somewhat fertile, sandy, well-drained soils in full sun. Propagate by seed or division every 3-4 years. Cut back to encourage rebloom. Used in butterfly and wild gardens or as a groundcover or border perennial.