Rudbeckia laciniata 'Herbstsonne' (Asteraceae)
Kim describes meeting this coneflower in a private garden on Long Island in its peak of glory: "It stood 7' at the back of a sunny perennial border and was literally covered with dozens of Monarch butterflies in constant motion, fluttering and hovering among the flowers." 'Herbstsonne' delights with numerous, drooping warm-yellow petals relaxing around a green central disc. Stems are sturdy, but you may want to stake or support a bit to make sure the flowers stand tall during their peak performance. First big bloom is in midsummer; deadhead when fading, and you'll get another in early fall. Plant at the back of the border in the company of Buddleias, Joe-Pye weed, tall ornamental grasses, or with a fluffy cloud of Boltonia.
Bloom color: yellow
Bloom period: mid-summer
Container size: Qt.