Rudbeckia

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) This is kind of a golden time of year and everybody thinks of goldenrod, but this plant is a great plant to have in the garden in late summer and fall, too. It's rudbeckia or black-eyed Susan.

The nice thing about black-eyed Susan is that they've been doing a lot of breeding on it and there are a lot of different kinds of selections out there. We all know the classic wildflower version of this plant with the little black or brown eye in it and the yellow petals! But they have newer varieties like the one you are holding there. That's called "Indian Summer," and you can see it has a much bigger petal and a bigger flower, as well. The yellow gets darker as you go to the center of the flower. There are some that are burgundy colored, too.

These are really nice varieties. They grow up a couple of feet tall, but the one thing you have to remember about these hybrids is they're not as hardy as the wildflower versions. So you might have to pamper them a little bit to get them to consistently to come back year after year.

These, of course, will self-sow and spread around your garden, too, so you have to be really careful with them. That's why they are such good wildflowers.

If you want something a little bit taller, there are some other great choices and one of them is called the privy plant! It's also called "Golden Glow," it's a type of rudbeckia. It's nice because it grows up 5 or 6 feet tall, it forms a nice wall of color and has double flowers.

If you like something taller, rudbeckia "Herbstone" is another nice selection that has a green cone inside with a nice drooping petal. It sends out rhizomes so it will spread out into an area and create a nice green wall.

So, you've got lots of different options with the black-eyed Susans, whether they be short ones or tall ones!

~By Charlie Nardozzi