NC State Extension

Rudbeckia Hirta ‘Goldilocks Improved’

Rudbeckia hirta 'Goldilocks Improved'

Trial: Annual

Years Trialed: 2003

Good Qualities:

Double flowers (6); Very showy and uniform, fast to flower, many petals; 85 days from seed to blossom, perfect filler size for bouquets, excellent 2 tone gold color with variable petal count, good vase life, good stem length; Butterscotch yellow petals; Would make a good landscape plant; Nice sized, stems are sturdy; Tall strong plants; Good vase life; Beautiful flowers, great rebloomer; Easy; Cheerful color; Great, good novelty cut, 4-6 usable stems, 20 inches long; Flowers were 2 ½ inches across.


Too short (3); My customers have no interest, deer love rudbeckia; Some plants died off in the row, they didn’t seem to have very consistent growth; excessive rain could have been a problem, but I would say more humidity on leaves than wet roots caused the problem; Raggy looking, did not hold up well (hydration); Poor germination compared to the other rudbeckias; Too short for use in bouquet work used most of them for “free for Kids” vase at farmer’s market; For me this cultivar was not very uniform and I had a lot of problems with its lodging; Wilted in vase, need to learn about better postharvest techniques; Deer ate every one of them, pulled the entire plant, usually they nip a few rudbeckia so I can only guess ‘Goldilocks’ tastes better than any other variety; Plants did not do well; Poor germination, plants not as healthy as two other rudbeckias trialed.


Home garden item; We like this plant/flower; Stems too short, mildew started early in season and plants quit producing or died off; It’s best to treat this as hardy annuals for best and strongest growth – I also grew ‘Indian Summer’, ‘Autumn Colors’ and ‘Prairie Sun’ in same conditions – The other 3 were strong growers and beautiful flowers and I have not found ‘Goldilocks’ to be good; Appears to take 3 degrees of frost without any damage, not as popular as the other rudbeckias grown; Another great flower in need of longer stems; If these plants survive our Zone 4/5 winter (and I hope they will) my second year plants have much better height and yields. (See article in this issue for postharvest testing of this cultivar.)

Trial Data

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Goldilocks Improved’
Yield (stems/plant) Stem Length (inches) Market Appreciation Rating – Wholesale (1) Market Appreciation Rating – Retail (1) Market Appreciation Rating – Consumer (1) Repeat Again Rating (2) Ease of Cultivation Rating (2) Average Spacing (in2)
Average 10.2 15.2 3.0 2.5 3.0 2.6 4.2 142
Range of Responses 0-30 4-28 3 1-4 1-5 1-5 2-5 36-432

(1) 1 to 5 scale, with 5 being the best. Market ratings are based on sales to wholesalers, retailers, or final consumers direct.


Benary Seed

1444 Larson St.

Sycamore, IL 60178

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