Rudbeckia laciniata (Cut-leaf Coneflower)
|Also known as:||Green-headed Coneflower, Tall Coneflower, Golden Glow|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; moist fields, woodland edges, along shores, floodplains, swamps, wet ditches|
|Bloom season:||July - September|
|Plant height:||2 to 10 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FAC MW: FACW NCNE: FACW|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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2 to 25 flower heads at the top of the plant, single at the tips of long stalks and the tips of branching stems. Flowers are 2 to 3 inches across with 6 to 12 droopy yellow petals (ray flowers). The center disk is ½ to ¾ inch across, initially a green, dome-shaped cone; when the tubular yellow disk flowers bloom it takes on a bulbous shape. The bracts surrounding the base of the flower are lance to egg-shaped, unequal in size, hairless to variously hairy. Flower stalks are mostly hairless except right below the flower head.
Leaves and stems:
Basal and lower stem leaves are large, to 10 inches long and wide, deeply lobed in 3 to 7 segments, irregularly toothed, on stalks up to 4 inches long. Basal leaves often wither away by flowering time. Leaves become smaller and shorter stalked as they ascend the stem and those on the upper plant are typically stalkless, unlobed and may be toothless. Surfaces are hairless to sparsely hairy. Stems are single or multiple from the base, branched in the upper plant, hairless and typically have a waxy bloom. Plants can create colonies from long, spreading rhizomes.
The center disk becomes a head of dry, brownish black, 4-sided seeds that lack a tuft of hair
The shape of the flower disk is similar to Sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale), which is easily distinguished by its shorter, notched rays, unlobed leaves, and leaf bases that extend down the stem. Also similar is Gray-headed Coneflower (Ratibida pinnata), which has large lobed leaves like Cut-leaf Coneflower, but the lobes are proportionately narrower, stems and leaves are hairy, the cone more oval and covered in dark brown-purplish disk flowers. There are currently 5 recognized varieties of R. laciniata: var. laciniata is the most common in North America and found in Minnesota, var. ampla with a taller, oval disk is found west of the Great Plains, and the other 3 are regional to a few states in the southern and eastern US. An R. laciniata cultivar with all ray and no disk flowers, known as Golden Glow, is popular in the nursery trade and may escape cultivation.
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Where to buy native seed and plants ↓
- Cut-leaf Coneflower plant
- Cut-leaf Coneflower plant
- Cut-leaf Coneflower plants
- basal leaves emerging in spring
- Cut-leaf Coneflower - Golden Glow
- more flowers, and a pollinator
- a pollinator
Photos by K. Chayka taken in Ramsey County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Anoka and Hennepin counties, and in a private garden in Lino Lakes.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?