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Orange Coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida Aiton)

Also known as perennial coneflower, black-eyed susan, Sullivant's coneflower.

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A variable grouping of plants, with some authors classifying them as distinct species. When considered as a species, this is the Rudbeckia most commonly cultivated in gardens. In the wild, it is slightly less common, although it still has a fairly wide distribution across eastern North America. Many populations are scattered and local.

Range - Expand

Native or Not Present
Native or Expanded
Expanded or Not Present
Native or Expanded or Not Present

This tentative map is based on our own research. It may have limited data on Canada and/or Mexico, and there is some subjectivity in our assignment of plants as introduced vs. expanded. Read more in this blog post.

This species is widely planted in gardens and sometimes escapes into the wild. It has established in several spots from New York State to Connecticut. This case represented a tough judgment call; these populations could easily be marked introduced, especially since this species is uncommon and not increasing at the northeastern borders of its range, the closest native populations. We marked it as expanded, however, because the distance to its native range is relatively short.

Life Cycle

A perennial, consistently longer-lived than R. hirta and R. triloba. Spreads by rhizomes, forming small colonies on favorable sites. Seeds are to some extent dispersed by wind, but are heavier and mostly fall close to the parent plant.


Widely cultivated as a landscaping plant. Numerous varieties exist.

Overlaps with numerous other Rudbeckia species. Within most of its range, other species, including R. hirta and R. triloba are more common. Other plants of this genus, including R. laciniata, look visually more distinct.

The broader grouping includes numerous other closely-related genera, also often overlapping with this species in range.


"Sullivant's coneflower" refers to a specific variety that exists in the wild, Rudbeckia fulgida sullivantii; this variety is the source for most garden cultivars, and as such, it is the variety most commonly found in feral populations or escapes of cultivated plants.

Rudbeckia fulgida (Orange Coneflower) | USDA PLANTS Database (About This Site)

Rudbeckia fulgida | Go Botany (About This Site)

Rudbeckia fulgida (Orange Coneflower) | Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder (About This Site)

Rudbeckia fulgida | Biota of North America Project (BONAP) (About This Site)

Rudbeckia fulgida | NatureServe Explorer (About This Site)

Rudbeckia fulgida | Flora of North America (About This Site)

Rudbeckia fulgida | Missouri Plants (About This Site)

Eastern Coneflower | Maryland Biodiversity Project (About This Site)