June 28, 2017

Cherry Jubilee

Rudbeckia hirta 'Cherry Brandy' - Gloriosa daisy

Janine Pineo Photo | Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherry Brandy’ – Gloriosa daisy

Touted as the first red rudbeckia is Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherry Brandy,’ introduced by Thompson & Morgan. There is some debate as to whether it is an annual or a perennial, but here at the Garden Maine home base in Zone 4, the plants have wintered over for at least three years, which registers as a perennial in our books. Topping out at about 2 feet in height, the blossoming starts in July and easily continues into August. While we bought these as plants one year, rudbeckias are quite easy to start from seed and can be directly sown, rendering them one of the easier perennials to start and grow. The petals on the flowers do change color as they mature, with their deepest red coming just after opening and then a gradual fade from the tips of the petals inward as the days pass. The centers are the usual lovely chocolate brown.