Rudbeckia hirta 'Cherry Brandy' with a Gomphrena doing a 'photo-bomb'
As a summer annual which lingers on into autumn courtesy of decorative seed heads, Rudbeckias are hard to beat.
I had some seed left over of this variety after growing a batch years ago so thought I should give it another try. Very viable seeds resulted in a huge batch of seedlings which were fairly easy to handle as they are characterized by tough raspy leaves and a strong root system.
Individual plants hug the ground for awhile and their broad leaves can provide shelter for snails so that is something to watch out for when growing them. By mid summer a tall flower stem starts to appear topped by many individual buds. The strong stem makes them ideal as a cut flower but it also gives them an ability to withstand any stormy windy days. The flowers were not affected by extremes of heat and the strong root system these plants have meant that they were able to seek out moisture well below the soil surface.
I look forward to trying some of the other colour forms of this hardy annual in years to come.