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Rudbeckia Hirta ‘Prairie Sun’

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Trial: Annual

Years Trialed: 2003

Rudbeckia hirta 'Prairie Sun'

Good Qualities

Great color pattern of light yellow edge and gold center (9); Large flowers (5) 5 to 6 inches across; Very showy, light center very nice, good petal form and overlap; Nice new rudbeckia; Excellent color for bouquet mixes; Productive, no problems; Very nice addition to green eyed rudbeckia selection; Excellent germination, excellent vase life (10 days); Beautiful flower; Vase life 1 week; Long season bloom, lots of stems, this one worked well in my bouquet mix; This year they are stunted, perhaps started too late, but last year they were amazing, strong tall plants, truly deserving of their AAS award; Sturdy stems, vase life acceptable (5 days), easy to grow; I liked these flowers and so did my customers, nice sturdy stems.


No problems (2); Short stems (2); One plant is very different, has dark centers; Possible heat stress early, high 90F in late May; For some reason, rudbeckia were not very popular by the consumer – The only rudbeckia that sold ok was ‘Indian Summer’, in years past I have sold a lot more; Deer love rudbeckia, customers did not like in Grower’s Bunches; Consumers familiar with black-eyed Susans wanted them – Most didn’t care or didn’t see them cause they wanted sunflowers; Insects were a problem – the rudbeckias are bug central, not all centers were acceptable; Grew 2nd crop, yielding November, stems short at 3 inches; If these plants survive our Zone 4/5 winter (sometimes they do) I would expect much better height and yields for next year, I have my fingers crossed!; Some plants demonstrated colors that were not consistent with the variety description, most plants did not flower.


This was a welcome addition to our rudbeckia offering; Will grow next year to use in mixes; We had germination problems so I didn’t have as many plants as I would have liked, my customers just didn’t seem to like this one as much as the standard rudbeckia; Need to promote all rudbeckias within the industry – these could and should overtake helianthus in popularity in everyday design work; Not quite as great a plant as ‘Indian Summer’ but pretty darned good; I love the color; Nice addition for a farmers market bouquet. (See article in this issue for postharvest testing of this cultivar.)

Trial Data

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Prairie Sun’
Yield (stems/plant)¹ Stem Length (inches)¹ Market Appreciation Rating² Repeat Again Rating² Ease of Cultivation Rating² Average Spacing (in2)
Wholesale Retail Consumer
Average 12.3 18.0 3.5 3.8 4.0 4.4 4.5 137
Range of Responses 3-30 8-27 3-4 2-5 3-5 3-5 3-5 36-360

¹Data shown are from those respondents who harvested stems. Some respondents may not have harvested stems because they were too short. Flowering stems may be longer next year after plants are established. See comments section for more details.

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


Benary Seed
444 Larson St.
Sycamore, IL 60178

Page Last Updated: 5 months ago
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