Why: From late August or early September, when other perennials give up the ghost, it produces hundreds of dark-coned yellow flowers, similar to—but much smaller and more numerous than—those of the popular ‘Goldsturm’ rudbeckia. Borne on handsome, reddish brown stems, its blooms last through early frosts, stopping only when the ground freezes or in early December, whichever comes first. Birds flock to the seedheads in winter.
Size: 60 to 120 cm high by 45 to 100 cm wide
Cultivation: This upright, rounded plant thrives in full sun to part shade in any well-drained soil. It’s easily grown from seed, planted as soon as soil can be worked, and self-sows to a certain degree—good news, as it’s short-lived (three to five years). Excellent for low maintenance gardens and flower meadows. Zone 3
Photo courtesy of Johnny