Creating a wildlife haven one plant at a time

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Rudbeckia laciniata

Commonly called cutleaf coneflower, this member of the aster family is a fabulous fall bloomer. I love it for all the pollinators it attracts; bees, wasps, and butterflies. Take a look who is dangling from the flower heads! More on this at the end of the post.


Rudbeckia laciniate is a tall plant, growing to heights of 8' or more. In our garden it usually stays around 5' to 6' probably because it isn't in the moist condition it prefers to grow in. We planted several clumps in various areas of our garden for end of summer color and to provide late season pollinators food. The flower is a globular cone surrounded by drooping yellow rays.

Various wasps gather on the flower heads, sticking their proboscis into the tubes to find nectar.


Here's a closer look.


Blue-winged wasps are another frequent visitor. A non-native wasp, but beneficial in the garden, as it is a natural predator of the Japanese beetle. The female wasp will dig up the beetle grub, sting it to paralyze it and then place it in a hole with a fertilized egg. When the wasp larva hatches, it will eat the grub. 


The blue-winged wasps have fuzzier bodies than most wasps and do grab some pollen as they move from one flower to another. 


As the rudbeckia laciniate are rather lanky, they are also prime real estate for other insects such as spiders, who like to set up their webs in pollinator traffic areas. Or praying mantis who skulk around looking for an easy meal


or this love session.


This is a great native to consider for your garden. Deer don't like it. And it is a good choice for a rain garden, pocket meadow or perennial garden. Plant with Eupatorium perfoliatum or lobelia cardinalis for more impact. 

I'm joining Clay and Limestone for the monthly Wildflower Wednesday celebration. See what others are sharing here

16 comments:

  1. This is a fabulous pollinator plant. There are always visitors on it! Great captures. Happy WW!

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    1. Thanks Gail! Yes, it really is a great late summer supporter of pollinators. Thanks for hosting WW.

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  2. It's a common one around here, too, and now I'm wondering why I haven't planted it because it can handle some shade. You've inspired me, Karin. Beautiful images and fascinating info about this Rudbeckia's visitors!

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    1. You definitely need to. I have some planted in sun and some in light shade. I think as long as the soil is good they do great.

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  3. Beautiful photos!
    I need to plant more coneflower-type plants.
    Hope you are having a wonderful week!

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    1. Thanks Lea. I agree, there is always room for more coneflowers.

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  4. I love, love, love it in my garden. Mine are also in the 5-6' tall range, probably for the same reason as they don't receive any supplemental irrigation. I have a new clump that self-seeded this past year in another bed and I couldn't be happier :)

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    1. Isn't it great when they reseed in just the right spots in the garden?! The garden is constantly evolving and those surprise volunteers add to a more natural look.

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  5. Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous!

    Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry

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  6. I love this Rudbeckia. Great captures with all those insect visitors.

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    1. Thanks Jason. It is so fun to capture the insects on the plants in their daily activities.

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  7. I haven't had any luck with rudbeckia in the past. Maybe, I should try this one. Seems to be great for the fall garden. Love your pictures! P. x

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    1. I found this rudbeckia to be easy to grow. I would definitely recommend giving it a try.

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  8. Great post. The photos were fabulous. Thanks also for the helpful information.

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    1. Thanks for coming by! Hope you're having a great fall.

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One of my favorite things about blogging is the conversation with readers. Leave a comment and let's get talking. ~Karin