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Gardening in the Rainy Zone.
Rudbeckia occidentalis 'Green Wizard'
Pronounced: rud-BEK-ee-ah ok-si-den-TAH-lis
Sunset zones: 1-24.
USDA zones: 3-9.
Height: 4-6 ft (1.21-1.8 m).
Width: 1-2 feet (30-60 cm).
Black cone surrounded at the base by green sepals, on a 3-5 inch flower.
Ovate, green leaves.
Full sun or light partial shade.
Humus rich, moist, well-drained soil.
Side dress with compost or manure. Fertilize in spring with a complete organic fertilizer.
Sow seed at 70°F (21°C); seeds germinate in 10 days. | Divide in spring or fall. | Root cuttings late fall or early winter.
Pests or Diseases:
Slugs enjoy feeding on the young leaves of this plant.
Rainy Side Notes
Rudbeckia, the Black-eyed Susan, does not come dressed in autumn colors anymore. Instead, in waltzes R. 'Green Wizard ' with a beautiful, tall, black conehead with not a petal to be seen, just beautiful green sepals at the cone's base. Susan fled the neighborhood, now that the coneheads moved in.
Easy to start from seed, they will bloom the first year provided you sow the seed early enough. My experience with these plants is they need full sun here in our maritime climate. In shade, the flower stems tend to flop over. In full sun the stems grow straight, strong and tall.
The flowers are excellent for cutting, not only for fresh arrangements but also for dried flowers. The tall stately plant can be tucked in behind the border. Its unusual flowers stand unassuming until closer inspection reveals their true beauty. Supposedly, this plant is deer resistant, but as I normally warn—resistance depends on your local herd. My own observations of the plants in my garden reveal that our Pacific Northwest bees and butterflies flock to this rudbeckia when in bloom, while seeds left on the cone heads provide food for birds.
Photographed in author's garden.
Perennials indexed by botanical names. Click on corresponding letter below.