Little Goldstar Black-eyed Susan
Rudbeckia fulgida var sullivantii 'Little Goldstar' PPAF
Goldsturm Strain has been the standard of excellence in the Rudbeckia family for so long that it seems incredible to say that another variety could be superior, but that's what we've got with nifty 'Little Goldstar.' This ultra-compact Black-eyed Susan offers more blooms on a much tighter habit -- so petite it can be grown easily in containers, as well as in the sunny garden!
Just 14 to 16 inches high and wide, 'Little Goldstar' nonetheless sets big 2- to 2½-inch blooms on strong stems above dark green foliage. Set with long, slender golden petals around a prominent dark brown cone, these flowers are great for fresh or dried bouquets, and act as a magnet for all neighborhood butterflies and bees in summer. (In autumn, after the petals drop, the seeds in the cone dry out, creating a feast for songbirds, so be sure to leave the last blooms on the plant until they've been picked clean!)
The flowers begin in midsummer in most climates, and continue well into fall. They are so brilliantly colored that they'll catch your eye from afar, simply glowing in the sunshine. And 'Little Goldstar' has none of the waist-high mass of foliage that Goldsturm brings -- it's a rounded dome of gleaming gold that barely reaches your knee!
A fully blooming 'Little Goldstar' plant will sport up to 80 flowers -- incredible for a plant twice its size, and more than Goldsturm! Yet this newcomer is just as easy as full-size Rudbeckia cultivars to grow, thriving in well-drained soil of just about any fertility, unfazed by heat, humidity, cold, drought, and most other stresses. Pamper it the first year to get it established, then watch it take off in your garden!
'Little Goldstar' pairs with all the summer bloomers, making a great foreground planting to tall Echinacea, leggy Sedum, and leafy Shasta Daisies. It also pairs well with autumn Mums (try it with new 'Matchsticks' for an incredibly bright show!) and Asters. And it's a container joy, so dot the porch steps, patio railing, and other choice spots with this dollop of pure sunshine! Zones 4-10.
|Species||fulgida var sullivantii|
|Zone||4 - 10|
|Bloom Season||Mid Summer - Early Fall|
|Plant Height||14 in - 16 in|
|Plant Width||14 in - 16 in|
|Additional Characteristics||Bird Lovers, Bloom First Year, Butterfly Lovers, Cut-and-Come-Again, Easy Care Plants, Free Bloomer, Long Bloomers, Native|
|Bloom Color||Dark Yellow, Gold|
|Foliage Color||Dark Green|
|Light Requirements||Full Sun|
|Moisture Requirements||Dry, Moist, well-drained|
|Resistance||Cold Hardy, Disease Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Heat Tolerant, Humidity Tolerant, Pest Resistant|
|Soil Tolerance||Clay, Normal, loamy, Poor, Sandy|
|Uses||Border, Containers, Cut Flowers, Everlastings, Outdoor|
|Restrictions||Canada, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands|
- Butterflies like a lot of sunlight, so locate your garden in a sunny area.
- If you live in a windy location, plant your butterfly-attracting plants near a building, fence, or hedge to protect them.
- Plant a variety of nectar-rich plants, as well as shrubs and evergreens for shelter.
- Since many butterflies and native flowering plants have co-evolved, try to put in some that are native to your area. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Center provides lists of plants native to states and regions.
- Certain colors are particularly attracting to butterflies – red, yellow, pink, purple, or orange blooms that are clustered or flat-topped, with a short flower tubes are especially attractive to adult butterflies.
- Avoid using pesticides, especially around nectar-producing plants.
- Provide a shallow source of water – try a birdbath with pebbles lining the bowl.
- Place a rock in a sunny spot for butterfly basking and resting.
- Create a "puddling area" by digging a shallow hole filled with compost or manure where rainwater will collect and release essential salts and minerals.
- If you want butterflies to breed in your garden, put in some caterpillar food plants, such as parsley, milkweeds, asters, thistles, violets, clover, grasses, and Queen Anne’s Lace.
- Since butterflies need nectar throughout the entire adult phase of their lives, try to create a design that will allow for a continuous bloom – when one stops blooming, another starts.
Set plants 15 to 18 inches apart. Choose a site in sun, nearly any soil will do, so long as it is well-drained.
Water plants during periods of drought. (If your summers tend to be hot and dry, a summer mulch will help conserve moisture.) Attention to deadheading will encourage the longest possible blooming season, and also prevent inferior seedlings. Cut back to the ground after blooms end, and apply a winter mulch after the ground freezes. Divide in spring or fall every 3 to 5 years, as needed to rejuvenate.
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