Annuals forum: Rudbeckia annual vs perennial

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Name: Josh Segoviano
El paso (Zone 8b)
Overgrown_suncity
Jul 4, 2017 8:24 PM CST
Hello from el Paso tx I was wondering of rudbeckia cultivers and see strains which are annual and perennial in nature
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Jul 7, 2017 2:14 PM CST
I've always thought they were perennials, but perhaps there are some with a different life cycle? Seems odd to me. Sometimes folks call a perennial an annual for their area because it is not hardy to survive their winters. I find that a misnomer myself.
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Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Jul 10, 2017 11:55 AM CST
Bonehead said:I've always thought they were perennials, but perhaps there are some with a different life cycle? Seems odd to me.


In the heat and humidity of middle Georgia, rudbeckia Hirta dies after blooming.

I once found a local variety that was truly perennial here.... But I think the rabbits finally killed the last of it last year.

Most other rudbeckias (that I've grown) are perennial here.
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Deer Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
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Bonehead
Jul 10, 2017 12:08 PM CST
Isn't that a question of zone appropriateness rather than life cycle type? I am only sketchy about over-wintering rudbeckias, but that does not change their perennial life cycle type. If I understand the question correctly, Josh is asking if there may be some rudbeckias which are actual annuals. Are there some in our database that are identified as annuals? That would seem odd to me. Not saying incorrect, just odd.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Deer Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
Spiders! Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Fruit Growers Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Bonehead
Jul 10, 2017 12:28 PM CST
Not real sure what to make of this -- per the Missouri Botanical Garden, R. hirta is classified as a perennial, but in the description, they clarify that it is a short lived perennial or biennial, and because it will bloom the first year from seed is often grown as an annual. ??

I then searched our database and found 5 Rudbeckia entries that classify as an annual: R. hirta, R hirta 'Ruby Ruby', R. hirta 'Maya', R. Hirta 'Prairie Sun, and R. amplexicaulis. Should these all be corrected to perennials, with a note that they are short lived and may be grown as biennials or annuals?

Bringing in a couple of our knowledgeable admins @Calif_Sue @eclayne to help out.
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Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Jul 10, 2017 3:37 PM CST
Bonehead said:Isn't that a question of zone appropriateness rather than life cycle type?


Here's a picture of a stand of black eyed susans from 2009:

Thumb of 2017-07-10/stone/f871dc
http://gardens-in-the-sand.blo...
I still have them....
I don't do a thing... They come up from dropped seed every year...

Makes them annuals.

Now...
Zone innapropropriateness would apply if you were discussing Iceland poppies, or delphinium, or pansies.... All of which die in the first year (here)... cannot be grown without time spent in the greenhouse.
[Last edited by stone - Jul 10, 2017 3:44 PM (+)]
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Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Aroids Irises I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tropicals Vermiculture
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eclayne
Jul 10, 2017 5:34 PM CST

Plants Admin

Per the Flora of North America Rudbeckia hirta can be annuals, biennials, or perennials
R. hirta var. angustifolia and var. floridana - annuals, biennials, or perennials
var. hirta - biennials, or perennials
var. pulcherrima – annuals or perennials

I believe this is because of the way these plants respond to their various natural habitats. Of the Rudbeckia I’ve grown most behave both as short lived perennials and annuals. Noting them as perennial and suitable as an annual seems appropriate. What do you think @KentPfeiffer ?
Evan
Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Plant Identifier Region: Nebraska Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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KentPfeiffer
Jul 10, 2017 7:01 PM CST

Plants Admin

Rudbeckia hirta plants generally behave as annuals (flower in first year, die after producing seed), but some individuals are capable of living for a few years. I'd simply check both the Perennial and Annual boxes, they aren't mutually exclusive. You could check the Biennial box as well, although they don't fit the strictest definition of a biennial.

"Suitable as an Annual" probably should be reserved for perennial plants that can be grown as annuals in areas where they aren't winter hardy. That's not what's going on with Rudbeckia hirta. Instead, R. hirta just has a high degree of plasticity. It's a classic r-selected species that will do whatever it has to do to make as many seeds as possible.

FWIW, most of the other Rudbeckia species I am familiar with are perennials.

[Last edited by KentPfeiffer - Jul 10, 2017 7:30 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1498707 (8)
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Aroids Irises I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tropicals Vermiculture
Foliage Fan Bulbs Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Composter Plant Database Moderator
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eclayne
Jul 10, 2017 7:34 PM CST

Plants Admin

Thanks Kent!
Evan
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Jul 14, 2017 12:42 PM CST
Some plants are annual in cold zones but perennial in warmer ones. It isn't always just the plant.
Southeast OK (Zone 7b)
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KarenHolt
Jul 14, 2017 1:02 PM CST
Stone - Rudbeckias do the same way here. My goldilocks bloomed, set seed and are now done. My prairie sun's are going strong though. Since I like the prairie sun's better, here's to hoping it stays that way a little longer.

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