September plant of the month - a ravishing rudbeckia

Rudbeckias are fantastic plants for delivering a long flowering display from late summer well into autumn

Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' at RHS Garden Harlow CarrMostly in shades of yellow, no herbaceous border would be complete without a rudbeckia or two.

They can range in size, many reaching lofty heights of 2–2.5m (7–8ft), which makes them perfect for the back of borders, but perhaps not so good for the average garden.

One that is perfect however is Rudbeckia var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’. This plant flowers at a height of around 60cm (2ft) so is much more suited to many garden situations and planting schemes.

The rich golden yellow flowers with contrasting black centres start from late July and really do continue for many months until we have had a couple of heavy frosts - into December in some years! These stand on strong stems above neat, glossy green foliage which is a perfect foil for other earlier-flowering plants.

Colourful and useful

We have several plantings of this around the garden, including the kitchen garden where it is planted as a useful cut flower. Most of these pictures, though, were taken from one of the old island beds near the main borders and demonstrate what a long lived and valuable plant it is, having been in this position since the late 1980s with little or no attention in that time.

A perfect low-maintenance plant that packs a punch of vibrant colour.

Useful links

Buy rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' direct from RHS Plants.

See Graham Rice's top 10 AGM-winning yellow daisies.

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