A genus of North American annuals and perennials, vigorous in growth and glowing in colour, the flowers being remarkable for the raised cone-like disk in the centre. They flourish in any good garden soil, and may be raised from seeds and by division of the roots in autumn or spring.

Fig. 241  Rudbeckia hirta.

Fig. 241- Rudbeckia hirta.

The best perennial kinds are californica, 5-6 ft., with large oval leaves and golden-yellow flowers 5 in. across; columnaris, 2-3 ft., with divided leaves and orange-yellow florets; hirta (fig. 241), 1-2 ft, yellow; laciniata, 2-15 ft., leaves deeply divided, flowers clear yellow, 3-4 in. across. There is a double-flowered variety, called "Golden Glow", which is particularly handsome; maxima, 4-8 ft, has large ovate blue-green leaves, and bright-yellow flowers 3-4 in. across; purpurea is now known under its old name of Echinacea (see p. 38); speciosa or Newmanni, 2-3 ft., popularly called "Black-eyed Susan", is very free flowering, the rich orange blossoms having a dark centre; subtomentosa, 3-4 ft, is a somewhat downy plant with fine starry yellow flowers scented like new-mown hay; nitida is a rather rare plant, very free in producing its rich-yellow flowers.