Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - April 16, 2015

From: North Branch, MN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Herbs/Forbs, Wildflowers
Title: Goldsturm Rudbeckia Stunted and Doesn't Bloom
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I have Goldsturm Rudbeckia that never flowers nor gets taller than 4 inches. Meanwhile, my phlox does fantastic in the same area. This area is sand top dressed with black dirt. Please help! Goldsturm grows for everyone!

ANSWER:

You are correct, Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii 'Goldsturm' is usually a very reliable bloomer. The Missouri Botanical Garden have the following information about Goldsturm Rudbeckia on their website...

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates hot and humid summers and some drought. Tolerates light shade, but best in full sun. Deadhead to prolong bloom. Divide when clumps become overcrowded. Plants do not come true from seed (must be vegetatively propagated). Some nurseries sell seed-grown plants, however, as Goldsturm strain.

This coneflower cultivar is an upright, rhizomatous, clump-forming perennial which typically grows 2-3' tall. Features large, daisy-like flowers (3-4" across) with deep yellow rays and dark brownish-black center disks. Flowers appear singly on stiff, branching stems in a prolific, long-lasting, mid-summer-to-fall bloom. Oblong to lanceolate, dark green foliage. Good fresh cut flower. Mass in bold drifts in the perennial border, cottage garden, prairie, meadow or naturalized area. Provides excellent bloom and color for late summer.

A common problem of this cultivar is angular leaf spot caused by a bacterium. The disease causes brown or black angular spots on the leaves which can expand to blacken the whole leaf. Infection begins on the lower leaves and moves up the plant. Rudbeckias are also susceptible to septoria leaf spot and powdery mildew.

Rudbeckia, though, are sometimes attacked by a bacteria-like organism called Aster Yellows that is spread from plant to plant by a leafhopper. The University of Minnesota Extension have the following information: Aster yellows has an exceptionally large host range that includes purple coneflower, aster, marigold, goldenrod, cosmos and other members of the daisy family (Compositae). The symptoms that result from this disease are witches' brooms, flowers appearing out of the 'cone', leaves sprouting from flowers, dwarfing and yellows. The pathogen, a phytoplasma, is a bacterium-like organism without the cell wall. It is an obligate pathogen and can be conclusively identified only by laboratory analysis.The phytoplasma is spread by a leafhopper vector. Management options are limited to 'search and destroy'. Infected plants should be removed and thrown away. Early season control of the leafhopper vector and removal of weed hosts may help prevent re-infection.

 

From the Image Gallery


Orange coneflower
Rudbeckia fulgida

Orange coneflower
Rudbeckia fulgida

Orange coneflower
Rudbeckia fulgida

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Mildew in Phlox paniculata
October 13, 2008 - I planted garden phlox (phlox paniculata) in my front landscaping and it is suffering from mildew. It is wet on that side due to a down spout and it may benefit from being split. Does anyone know of...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for gravesite in North Central Massachusetts
May 18, 2008 - I live in North Central Mass. Would like to plant something on my parents gravesite that would not be invasive or require a lot of care. Any suggestions? I just took 2 shrubs out that had become way...
view the full question and answer

Care for an orchid
August 31, 2008 - I have another question. How do I care for an orchard. I have had it close to a year and it hasn't grown. How much water do they take.
view the full question and answer

Is Lycopodium digitatum native to South Carolina?
December 27, 2012 - Is Lycopodium digitatum native to SC; do you know if it's available in SC nurseries?
view the full question and answer

Information on orchid Spiranthes odorata from Golden MS
December 06, 2011 - I live in N.W. MS and am fortunate enough to receive 'Wildflower'. Even though it's geared to TX I was wondering if you can provide me information on the Spiranthes odorata that sprang up in my yar...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.