Coneflower, Cutleaf/Golden Glow

Plant Height 5-7 Ft.
Seed Count 160,000 Seeds per LB
Botanical Name Rudbeckia laciniata
Life Cycle Perennial
Environment Full Sun to Part Shade
Preferred Sites Mesic to Wet Soils
Bloom Period July-September
Flower Color Yellow
Pollinator Value Very Good


This native perennial plant is 3-8' tall; it branches occasionally in the upper half. The stems are light green, terete, and usually hairless. The alternate leaves are up to 12" long and 12" across, becoming gradually smaller as they ascend the stems. They spread outward from their stems on long petioles and have a tendency to droop. The typical leaf has 3-7 large lobes, smooth or coarsely dentate margins, and a dark green upper surface that is hairless or slightly hairy. The lobes are elliptical or lanceolate in shape; the terminal lobe of each leaf is often subdivided into 2 smaller lobes. The uppermost leaves on the flowering stalks are much smaller in size and lanceolate to broadly ovate in shape; they lack lobes. The upper stems terminate in either individual or elongated clusters of flowerheads. Each flowerhead spans about 2½–3" across; it has a daisy-like structure consisting of a globoid central cone that is surrounded by 6-12 yellow ray florets. The central cone is light green while immature, but it later becomes yellow and resembles a pincushion to some extent because of the tubular disk florets. The ray florets have a petal-like appearance and they droop downward from the cone. There are about 5 floral bracts surrounding the base of the flowerhead; these bracts are light green, hairless, and ovate to oblong-ovate in shape. The blooming period occurs from mid-summer to early fall and lasts about a month. Each disk floret is replaced by an oblongoid achene that has a crown of tiny blunt teeth at its apex. The root system is fibrous and rhizomatous. Vegetative colonies of plants are often formed from the long rhizomes.

CULTIVATION: The preference is partial sun, moist conditions, and a fertile loamy soil. At a site that is too sunny and dry, the leaves may droop excessively and wither away. Otherwise, this is an easy plant to cultivate.

RANGE & HABITAT: Cutleaf Coneflower is widely distributed and occasional in most areas of Illinois. Habitats include open floodplain forests, moist meadows in wooded areas, woodland borders, moist thickets, sloughs in partially shaded areas, calcareous seeps, and pastures. Occasionally this species is grown in flower gardens.

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