Thursday, September 29, 2011


Hello everyone!  This installment is covering one of my favorite, and for some reason, elusive flower.  I discovered this perennial/biennial by shear accident about 17 years ago in  the herb bed of the house I had just moved into.  A little 90 year old woman had lived there, actually the only owner of the house since it was built in the 1940's.  We moved into the house in the month of March and I eagerly awaited to see what was growing in the flower beds.  I watched what I thought was a weed for several months and came close to pulling it right out of the ground.  Thank God I didn't because I was rewarded with this beautiful airy yellow/orange and brown flower when much of nothing else was blooming.  I fell in love with the fact that it grew to nearly five feet and the flowers seemed to float in the air.  I found out later (next spring) that it had an extra bonus of self-sowing.  A few people would find this annoying and slightly invasive.  I never looked at it that way...I just pulled out what I didn't want :)

I am a very sentimental gardener, so this year I built a house and one of the plants I wanted most was this perennial favorite that won my heart.  I had a lot of trouble finding it until I went to a local perennial grower for an open house and discovered they were growing the plant I coveted.  I was to say the least, ecstatic!  Although I have it now, I was not able to enjoy the simple pleasure of it's beauty this year.  I have something to look forward to next season.

Here is the general information to see if it will become a favorite of YOURS!  
It goes by 3 different names.  Rudbeckia Triloba, Brown-Eyed Susan or Three-Lobed Rudbeckia.  It is classified as a perennial/biennial which means essentially that it comes back every year but not always in the same spot.  It grows 3 to 4 ft. high (I have witnessed it reaching 5ft) and 2 to 3 ft wide.  It is hardy from zones 3-10 and requires full sun to partial shade.  It takes it a while to show you it's charms because it doesn't bloom until late summer into fall.  Like I said, not much else was blooming.  It's water requirements are average but don't overwater or it will surely perish.  As far as the slightly invasive habit, if you don't want it to reseed freely cut off the seed heads before they dry, or if you are like me, let them reseed and decide where you don't want them in the spring by simply pulling them out :) 



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