Sunny blooms add the perfect dose of late-summer and fall color

Julie Chai,  –  September 7, 2006

When many spring and summer bloomers are starting to fade, gloriosa daisy, also known as Rudbeckia hirta and black-eyed Susan, is just hitting its stride. With daisy-like blooms in harvest colors, it bridges the floral gap from summer into fall.

Colors: Rudbeckia blooms in shades of yellow, orange, and chocolate with brown to black cones.

Size: Depending on the variety, blooms can reach 2 to 9 inches wide, and most plants max out at 4 feet tall and 1½ feet wide though smaller varieties (under a foot tall) are available too.

Care: Give rudbeckia full sun, and moderate to regular water.

Planting: Start from seed in spring, or buy plants in summer or early fall.

Companions: Grow with echinacea, phormium, grasses, zinnias, salvia, and coreopsis.