NC State Extension

Rudbeckia Hirta ‘Prairie Sun’

Rudbeckia hirta 'Prairie Sun'

Trial: Annual

Years Trialed: 2003

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) 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 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

(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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