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

Rudbeckia maxima

Great coneflower or cabbage leaf coneflower

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

PRICING
Rudbeckia maxima LP32 - 32 per flat $38.64
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Height

6-7 Feet

Spread

3 Feet

Spacing

12 Inches

Bloom Color

Yellow

USDA Hardiness Zone 5-8

Great coneflower Interesting Notes

Cabbage leaf coneflower (Rudbeckia maxima) is in a class of its own, with striking 18-inch-long blue-green leaves. By mid- to late summer, the flowering stems rise up seven feet tall and are topped by dramatic coneflowers with two-inch-high noses and strongly drooping petals. This species loves moisture and heat and is ideal for a sunny damp meadow, but it can also be placed as an architectural accent in a mixed border. - From "Ravishing Rudbeckia" by Barbara Blossom Ashmun, Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Rudbeckia maxima is an overlooked drought-tolerant native that can be found from Arkansas to Texas, growing in seasonally moist roadside ditches alongside old tires, beer cans, and cigarette butts. The research into whether the abundance of motor oil in these sites is actually essential for plant growth has been inconclusive. This unique giant black-eyed Susan has a deciduous basal rosette of waxy blue foliage resembling a collard (that's sort of like a cabbage to you northern folks). In late spring through early summer, the flower stalks of Rudbeckia maxima rise to over 7' tall. At the top of each stalk are 2-3" wide, brown-centered, yellow daisies...WOW! After flowering, we leave the seed stalks as a delicacy for goldfinches. - Plant Delights Nursery

Genus name honors Olof Rudbeck (1630-1702) Swedish botanist and founder of the Uppsala Botanic Garden in Sweden where Carl Linnaeus was professor of botany. Specific epithet means largest in reference to the large size of this Rudbeckia. Another common name for this plant is cabbage leaf coneflower in reference to the basal leaves. - Missouri Botanical Garden

Rudbeckia maxima Growing and Maintenance Tips

Prefers moist, fertile soils but will thrive in average garden conditions in 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, in a cutting garden or as a specimen plant.

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Songbirds
Songbirds
Butterflies
Butterflies
Full Sun
Full Sun
Summer
Summer
Average
Average
Moist
Moist
Cut Flower
Cut Flower
Drought Tolerant
Drought Tolerant

Additional Information

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