Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Great Coneflower, Cabbage Leaf Coneflower
Rudbeckia maxima

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rudbeckia (rud-BEK-ee-a) (Info)
Species: maxima (MAKS-ih-muh) (Info)

12 vendors have this plant for sale.

28 members have or want this plant for trade.

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4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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There are a total of 27 photos.
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7 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive sshort On Jun 17, 2012, sshort from Kansas City, MO wrote:

While rescuing plants from the road grader on my dad's ranch in Western Kansas, I somehow ended up with a Rudbeckia Maxima that must have piggy backed with another plant. Next spring I was surprised and puzzled when it came up. I had never seen one before and definitely not on our ranch. Took forever to identify it. Who knows where it came from. But it was a great conversation piece in my flower garden. The area the plant came from is hot, dry, with sandy loam soil. It reseeded easily and was one of my 'sharing' plants. Descriptions state it has yellow petals. Mine had only very tiny insignificant yellow petals with a huge prickly seed head, and of course the 'cabbage' leaves.

Positive corgimom On Mar 3, 2012, corgimom from Pontotoc, MS (Zone 7b) wrote:

this is my favorite of all the rudbeckias ! My only complaint is how slow it grows. The first time I saw it I knew I HAD to have one. I have been growing it for about 6 years and still only have one tiny clump. This year I am trying to get up the nerve to divide it.

Positive atcps On Jun 12, 2010, atcps from WOODLAWN, TN wrote:

A very nice addition to my perennial border. This plant towers above all other plants in the border. It is lovely. The long stalks (over 6 feet tall) support the flowers fabulously with no staking required. The large powdery blue foliage is a nice change from green and contrasts nicely with fine foliage of all colors. Requires no special care from me and grows in part sun.

Positive BJames1 On May 23, 2010, BJames1 from Elizabeth City, NC (Zone 8a) wrote:

A very exciting Rudbeckia! Wide cabbage-like leaves give it great distinction and a much greater tropical effect compared to other coneflowers. Its sheer size warrants a second look! My neighbor couldn't believe it was a black-eyed susan when I told her! This coneflower is my second favorite, only to Rudbeckia laciniata 'Herbstsonne.' A great garden perfomer year-round! For its foliage effect, this Rudbeckia can't be beat! Giant flower stalks are the icing on the cake.

Positive HummingbirdDude On Dec 12, 2009, HummingbirdDude from Whitehall, PA wrote:

This plant grows very tall with yellow flowers. Birds like to eat the seeds.

Neutral VanInDallas On Jun 21, 2008, VanInDallas from Dallas, TX wrote:

Pictures don't really do it justice. I just discovered this plant a month ago at the Dallas Arboretum and had to track one down. The lady at the native plant nursery I bought it at said it will need supplemental water in our area. She said where she sees it really thrive is in drainage ditches in East Texas, so obviously it will tolerate soggy conditions. East Texas is also acidic whereas Dallas is aklaline so I mixed in peat moss to help acidify and retain water. I'll let you know in a year how it turned out.

Positive rosemontgolden On May 28, 2006, rosemontgolden from Stockton, NJ wrote:

This plant is a stunning success in my difficult conditions - an overgrown field I'm turning into a wet prairie. Even though the soil is heavy clay, and very wet throughout winter and spring, Rudbeckia maxima came through with flying colors, grew significantly in size in one season, and remains attractive, with unblemished leaved of large size. Because of the difficult growing conditions - I'm planting within the matrix of native plants - I only planted two Rudbeckia maxima. Now that I've seen the result, I'm scattering several more in a naturalistic, random pattern. I should add that these plants were totally untouched by my large deer population.

Neutral PurplePansies On Sep 23, 2004, PurplePansies from Deal, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant will germinate without stratification ..... seeds should be covered lightly.... light aids germination...... this is how I sowed mine.... stratification can be used if your plants don't come up...... I have to wait for them to get big now before I can say if I like them or not....... :)

Positive gonedutch On Aug 9, 2004, gonedutch from Fairport, NY wrote:

This is a spectacular turkscap-like flower that blooms in August in my western New York garden. It seems not to be affected by either excessive rains or droughts. It makes a great show with r. 'Herbstsonne' (see my image).

Neutral Grits On Jan 5, 2001, Grits from Pineville, LA (Zone 8b) wrote:

R. maxima is an eye-catching perennial native to Arkansas, Louisiana and into Texas. It forms attractive clumps or heads of foliage low to the ground; individual leaves are "paddle-shaped," 18" long and 3" to 4" wide. Out of the clumps of bluish-green leaves, tall architectural flower stems shoot up to the sky like rockets in mid to late summer and explode into rays of golden yellow.

Six to seven foot stems support bold drooping flowers that
resemble soggy sombreros.

It is a herbaceous perennial in USDA hardiness zones 6 to 8, and grows best in full sun, rich and moist soil.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Birmingham, Alabama
Vincent, Alabama
Gainesville, Florida
Carrollton, Georgia
Abita Springs, Louisiana
Lafayette, Louisiana
Mandeville, Louisiana
Youngsville, Louisiana
Cumberland, Maryland
Needham, Massachusetts
Pontotoc, Mississippi
Goodman, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri
Madison, Missouri
O Fallon, Missouri
Stratham, New Hampshire
Denville, New Jersey
Stockton, New Jersey
Fairport, New York
Fayetteville, New York
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Cincinnati, Ohio
Fort Jennings, Ohio
Lynchburg, Ohio
Portland, Oregon
Salem, Oregon
Coopersburg, Pennsylvania
Whitehall, Pennsylvania
Charleston, South Carolina
Inman, South Carolina
North Augusta, South Carolina
Woodlawn, Tennessee
Arlington, Texas
Belton, Texas
Dallas, Texas (2 reports)
Dripping Springs, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Humble, Texas
Missouri City, Texas
Oakhurst, Texas
Shepherd, Texas
Arlington, Virginia
Mc Lean, Virginia
Roanoke, Virginia

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