An absolute gift to flower arrangers, Rudbeckia 'Green Wizard' is a noble and ornamental plant for the back of any border making nice clumps of foliage. It is, of course, the flowers that are remarkable: three or four inches across, “green” is one’s immediate impression on seeing them.
Surrounding the large and impressive central almost black, dome-shaped boss are not the petals of your average, self-respecting flower, but rather ten or so, large, well spaced, stiffish, very petal-like things: strictly involucral bracts (or, if you want to be up-to-date with the correct name, phyllaries) – calling them green flowers seems simplest!
They are, of course, splendid for cutting for use fresh, when they last well in water, or dried.
The trick with Rudbeckia is to make sure it goes in soil which does not bake dry or the whole plant will collapse. A semi-shady position will help if the soil does tend to dry out in summer, as will a thick mulch, applied after a night of heavy rain
Sowing: Sow in late winter/late spring or late summer/autumn.
Sow indoors in pots or trays containing a peaty compost mix at 13 to 16°C (55 to 60°F). “Just cover” the seed with vermiculite or sieved compost. As the seed needs light to germinate. The compost should be kept moist but not wet at all times. Germination should occur between 15 to 21 days
Thin (prick out) to 7.5cm (3in) pots when seedlings have developed 2 proper leaves and are large enough to handle. Gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10 to 15 days before planting out. Space 60cm (24in) apart.
To make sure the plants remain vigorous divide them every two to three years as soon as growth begins in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, though we have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring.
Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower Arranging, Flowers Borders and Beds, Wildflower Gardens or Wildlife Gardens.
Echinacea, Shasta Daisy
There are about 25 species of Rudbeckia, all native to North America. Orange coneflower (R. fulgida var. sullivantii) and Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) are closely related.
Rudbeckia occidentalis is native to the north-western United States from Washington to northern California and east to Wyoming and Montana, where it grows in moist habitat types, such as meadows.
Rudbeckia is one of at least four genera within the flowering plant family Asteraceae whose members are commonly known as coneflowers; the others are Echinacea, Dracopis and Ratibida.
The genus was named for the Swedish physician/botanist, Olaus Rudbeck (1660-1740), who preceded Carolus Linnaeus, the inventor of the binomial system of biological nomenclature, at the University of Upsala.
Rudbeckia was named by Linnaeus to honour his teacher, Olaf Rudbec and his son, who was also named Olof, a Swedish botanist and Professor of Botany at Upsal.
The species name occidentalis (occidentale) means 'of the West' or 'Western' and refers to its place of origin. The common name of ‘Western Coneflower’ also refers to this. It is the name that European explorers gave to anything pertaining to the New World, as opposed to the Orient referring to people and things from the Far East.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 25 Seeds Family Asteraceae Genus Rudbeckia Species occidentalis Cultivar Green Wizard Common Name Western Coneflower, Green Coneflower Hardiness Hardy Perennial Flowers Midsummer to Early Autumn Natural Flower Time Green bracts with almost black dome Height 60 to 90cm (24 to 36in) Spacing 60 to 80cm (24 to 32in) Position Full Sun / Partial Shade Soil Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Moist Time to Sow Sow in late winter/late spring or late summer/autumn. Germination 15 to 21 days