Well, almost a silent Sunday. I do need to say a few words. I am, after all, of the female persuasion and females are never at a loss for words.
The first time I ever saw this plant was last October at the Mandarin Garden Center. I was there for a Duval County Extension Agent class on Fall Gardening. At the end of the class, to our surprise, the Mandarin Garden Club offered each of us a free plant. You don’t have to ask me twice about a free plant.
After touring their gardens, I chose a rudbeckia longifolia (Rudbeckia nitida var. longifolia, known more commonly as Shining Coneflower or Shiny Coneflower) in a one-gallon pot. I now understand why they had a few pots of it on hand to give away. It spreads in the most amazing fashion. If I had to dig it up today, it would probably fill a dozen one-gallon pots. No, I’m not kidding.
The leaves are so attractive that even when the plant is not in bloom, it provides interesting foliage.
Mandarin Garden Center’s rudbeckia longifolia was already in bloom in early August. Mine waited until mid-September to bloom and it is just glorious. The delicate petals waft on the breeze like butterflies. It’s another one of those bug-gitters, too. If you’ll look towards the back of the flower on the far left side, you’ll see a bug.
What do you mean you can’t see the bug? Oh all right, I’ll blow him up for you.
CORRECTION: This does seem to be available through plant nurseries under the name Rudbeckia nitidia ‘Herbstsonne’.