Rudbeckia Species, Brown-eyed Susan, Thinleaf Coneflower, Three-lobed Rudbeckia

Rudbeckia triloba

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rudbeckia (rud-BEK-ee-a) (Info)
Species: triloba (try-LO-buh) (Info)
Synonym:Centrocarpha aristata
Synonym:Centrocarpha triloba
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

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)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Gold (yellow-orange)

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

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; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Ponca, Arkansas

Carlsbad, California

Nevada City, California

Richmond, California

San Leandro, California

Denver, Colorado(2 reports)

Erie, Colorado

Loveland, Colorado

Sharon, Connecticut

Cordele, Georgia

Plano, Illinois

Greenville, Indiana

Jeffersonville, Indiana

Kalona, Iowa

Hebron, Kentucky

Gonzales, Louisiana

Takoma Park, Maryland

North Dartmouth, Massachusetts

Clarkston, Michigan

Detroit, Michigan

Eben Junction, Michigan

Pinconning, Michigan

West Olive, Michigan

Isle, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota(3 reports)

Saint Cloud, Minnesota

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Waynesboro, Mississippi

Cross Timbers, Missouri

Frenchtown, New Jersey

Roswell, New Mexico

Binghamton, New York

Cayuga, New York

Greenwich, New York

Olmstedville, New York

Belmont, North Carolina

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Greenville, North Carolina

Jacksonville, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina

Rowland, North Carolina

Bucyrus, Ohio

Columbia Station, Ohio

, Ontario

Chiloquin, Oregon

Salem, Oregon

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

Millersburg, Pennsylvania

New Freedom, Pennsylvania

Columbia, South Carolina

Seabrook, South Carolina

Beaumont, Texas

Crockett, Texas

Dallas, Texas

Richardson, Texas

Jensen, Utah

Leesburg, Virginia

Camano Island, Washington

De Pere, Wisconsin

Green Bay, Wisconsin

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Racine, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 12, 2020, RhodyDude from Takoma Park, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

Rudbeckia triloba is a very aggressive seeder and grower. Although technically a perennial, its seeding behavior is closer to an annual. It will flower in the first year from seed. In the first year, it will grow about 3 feet high. In the second year, in full sun in good soil, it will get more than 6 feet high with some flopping.

This is a great plant for a multi-acre wild prairie environment, but a poor choice for a typical, smaller house lot. The main problem is the reseeding. After you grow this plant, the following spring, you will find a halo, extending about 3 to 5 feet out from the original plant, of hundreds of seedlings. The seedlings are easy to pull, but there's just so many of them!

This plant will also easily out-compete and shade any smaller or ... read more


On Jan 25, 2016, JBtheExplorer from Southeast, WI wrote:

My neighbors had a bunch of these in their small front garden. Well, we share a burning pit with them, and one day in Autumn, I found that our neighbor cut them down and threw them in the pit. In other words, I got many, many free seeds! I scattered them along the edge of the fire pit (where invasive weeds usually grow), as well as in my native garden and in other parts of the yard. The flowers look great. Ideally, the plant would be a little shorter, but nature isn't meant to be altered. This is a great plant to add to your yard! It will spread, but that is something I always consider to be a good thing when it involves native species.


On Aug 31, 2011, mrsrudy from Wappingers Falls, NY wrote:

I grew this plant from seed by sowing seed directly in the ground last August. It germinated quickly, and grew a few inches tall before winter. I had no idea if the little plants would survive the winter, but sure enough, they were back in the spring after the snows melted. And now it is the following August, one year after planting the seeds, and it is 6 feet tall and covered with yellow flowers. It is a real standout in the garden. It has been blooming for about 6 weeks now. Cut flowers are so pretty. Hope it returns next spring.


On Jun 3, 2010, dijet from Lake Geneva, WI wrote:

I've enjoyed this plant in my garden for several years - hops around. This year it's all over the gardens - 3-4 ft. tall and this is only early June! I'm not sure if all the plants will bloom this year, but it is going crazy like I've never experienced it before! I've posted a picture of the foliage - let me know if you think I've identified the right plant - please!


On May 7, 2009, wendymadre from Petersburg, VA wrote:

I was given a Brown-eyed Susan eleven years ago, and this would seem to be the same type, except that mine can range in height from three to over five feet tall. It reseeds freely, but the volunteers are attractive and can be given away. It is striking in the garden, covered with blossoms. It's tough and healthy.


On Apr 16, 2008, CurtisJones from Broomfield, CO (Zone 5b) wrote:

From your friends at Botanical Interests: Rudbeckia triloba is usually grown as an annual, but it is actually a short-lived perennial in USDA Zones 4-9. (It may come back the following year from roots or reseeding, but is not reliably perennial.) The 3'-6' tall plants bloom from summer to early fall and have masses of petite yellow daisy-like flowers with chocolate-brown button centers. The flowers are so profuse that, in the Undaunted Gardener, garden writer, Lauren Springer Ogden, says, "The sheer profusion reminded me of fairy tales in which a person down on his or her luck is suddenly showered by thousands of gold coins from the sky." A Native American wildflower and 1997 Georgia Gold Medal Winner, it is also called Brown Eyed Susan. You are missing out if you don't have this butterfly... read more


On Aug 6, 2007, bordersandjacks from Seabrook, SC (Zone 8b) wrote:

I bought one of this plant and it spread slowly and controlled in an area of my yard that gets about 5 hours of sun. I dead headed it in another part of my yard that has an eastern exposure and gets bright sun until about 2pm. Yikes! It's borderline invasive. But, since I had lots of space to fill and it's so pretty, that's a plus for me. And now in July when other things are looking sad and pitiful it is bright, cheery and in full bloom. Fortunately, it's easy to control, and I give away lots of little plants to friends. We had a mild winter, so I've had this plant in bloom for over a year.


On Jun 20, 2007, kerrydrury from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

My experience with this lovely plant is that it definitely needs afternoon shade or it wilts. It freely reseeds and pops up around the garden. Though I've read it's a good cut flower, mine don't last as long as I would like.


On Nov 18, 2006, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

This is a interesting plant rarely seen in the plant trade compare to Black Eye Susan and most likely found in wildflower specific greenhouses. I got some little plants last year and they bloomed the following year in late Summer, about August/September. One thing to note: Height tend to vary dramatically depending on conditions. I put one plant in Full sun to light shade (Depends - I don't have sun for any more than maybe 4 -5 hours but afternoon and strong enough to burn hosta foliages) and it grew nearly 5 feet tall with a cloud of flowers while another plant in more shade grew to about 1 to 1 1/2 feet in height with far fewer flowers. This species tolerate more shade than the commonly grown Black Eye Susan - May 2008 - I have seen seedlings grow in woodland shade.

Actu... read more


On Jan 18, 2005, LilyLover_UT from Ogden, UT (Zone 5b) wrote:

This tall wildflower makes a great companion plant for ornamental grasses like Miscanthus. It's also known by the common name Branched Coneflower.


On Aug 9, 2003, Ladyfern from Jeffersonville, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

Mine grew 5' tall and very bushy and full. The flowers just cover the plant, and I like their shape better than R. fulgida. It starts to bloom later that R. fulgida.


On Jan 22, 2003, poppysue from Westbrook, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:

This easy rudbeckia provides a lot of bang for your money. I started plants from seed which bloomed profusely the second year. The third year they failed to return but oodles of self-sown seedlings were left behind. It looks great with ornamental grasses for late season color.


On Sep 2, 2001, talinum from Kearney, NE (Zone 5a) wrote:

A United States native which flowers over a longer period of time than 'Goldstrum' The basil leaves are 3-lobed. The flowers are smaller than other rudbeckias but very prolific.
Not often seen in catalogs.