A closer look at what is blooming in the garden from the post Garden Summer Blooms – 8-7-14. Focus today? Daylilies and a group of plants that are almost interchangeable.
Did you ever wonder what is the difference between Echinacea and Rudbeckia?
There is very little differentiating them to the casual gardener. They are very closely related and come from the same family of plants (Asteraceae). Both are native plants blooming around the same time in summer and relatively little bothered by pests. Both tolerate drought and soils of poor fertility.
Mostly, they differ in appearance and color. The coneflower in my garden is purple, white and pink, while the Rudbeckia is yellow to orange-yellow. The coneflowers are generally larger in flower size, yet I have a variety of Black-eyed Susan that is just as large called Indian Summer.
You will see a difference in petal curvature too with the coneflowers having petals curving downward regularly, making that cone more prominent. Some remain daisy-like, but many are curved. One difference that is really noticeable in our area is that Rudbeckia can run rampant, while coneflowers stay much more contained. Just a note, if you want the rudbeckia to return, many varieties like Indian Summer need to set seed and come back as annuals. Deadhead them and they are dead in your garden.
There are more varieties of Coneflower, Rudbeckia and daylilies in my garden, but this sampler should give you an idea of just a few. I will add more to the list at another time.
See Nature and Wildlife Pics for an insect we gardeners usually despise.