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Rudbeckia maxima (Great coneflower)
Species Distribution Map: Click to enlarge
Map Color Key © 2013 BONAP

Rudbeckia maxima

Great coneflower or Dumbo's ears

Huge powder blue leaves make up 2 to 3' of basal foliage that is effective all during the growing season. In June and July spikes explode with large deep, gold, drooping ray flowers with a black center. A must for the butterfly and bird lover! Reliable and deer proof.

Rudbeckia maxima LP32 - 32 per flat $38.64
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6-7 Feet


3 Feet


12 Inches

Bloom Color


USDA Hardiness Zone 5-8

Great coneflower Interesting Notes

Commonly called cabbage leaf coneflower, Rudbeckia maxima is an eye-catching perennial native to warm, moist pine woods and plains from Arkansas to Louisiana and into Texas. However, its range of acceptable climates extends farther north. R. maxima is an herbaceous perennial in USDA hardiness zones 6 to 8; plants go dormant in late fall and the foliage disappears until spring. But being a native of warmer southern regions, this rudbeckia thrives in hot, humid summers, such as those in Brooklyn and elsewhere in the East and Midwest. Much more... Brooklyn Botanic Garden


Ornamental cultivars of plants which attract butterflies and birds in the wild, such as the cultivars of Joe-Pye-Weed (Eupatorium sp.), were selected for the new design. Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia fulgida) and Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) provide nectar for Monarchs, Swallowtails amd Fritillaries, and the Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii) is an excellent butterfly-attracting shrub. Lupines (Lupinus polyphyllus) and Columbine (Aquilegia sp.) are spring food sources for hummingbirds. Ornamental grasses and parsleys are excellent food plants for caterpillars. Tall Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia maxima) seeds are highly attractive to goldfinches in the fall. Winterberry (Ilex verticillata) is a crucial shrub for providing a late-winter food source for birds. New Canaan Nature

Rudbeckia maxima Growing and Maintenance Tips

Prefers deep, moist soils but will thrive in average garden conditions in the full sun. Likes wet feet, yet is surprisingly drought resistant. Spreads slowly by rhizomes. Deadhead to prolong blooming season. Propagate by root cuttings and division. Outstanding in mass plantings as a border perennial, cutting garden or specimen plant.

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Full Sun
Full Sun
Cut Flower
Cut Flower

Additional Information

Plug Type
Landscape Plug™
Propagation Type
Open pollinated
Native to North America
Moist Sun
Dry Sun