Rudbeckia, Cutleaf Coneflower 'Herbstsonne'

Rudbeckia laciniata

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rudbeckia (rud-BEK-ee-a) (Info)
Species: laciniata (la-sin-ee-AY-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Herbstsonne
Additional cultivar information:(aka Autumn Sun)
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

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)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 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)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

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:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early 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

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:

Vincent, Alabama

Fullerton, California

Lake Arrowhead, California

Denver, Colorado

Cordele, Georgia

Douglas, Georgia

Norcross, Georgia

Algonquin, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois

Spring Valley, Illinois

Anderson, Indiana

Logansport, Indiana

Ewing, Kentucky

Monroe, Louisiana

Cumberland, Maryland

Pikesville, Maryland

Dearborn Heights, Michigan

Grand Marais, Michigan

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Pontotoc, Mississippi

Wentzville, Missouri

Kearney, Nebraska

Minden, Nevada

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Cold Spring, New York

Deposit, New York

Fairport, New York

Boone, North Carolina

Kure Beach, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina(2 reports)

Sophia, North Carolina

Delaware, Ohio

Portland, Oregon

Salem, Oregon

Hatboro, Pennsylvania

North Augusta, South Carolina

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Belton, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas(2 reports)

South Pomfret, Vermont

Sandy Hook, Virginia

Walla Walla, Washington

Tripoli, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 8, 2016, Rockguy1 from Calgary,
Canada wrote:

This is a great plant for the back of the border. I've had this plant for five years in Calgary (Zone 3b), in a sunny but wet part of my garden. It's now a 2' wide clump with 30-40 stems 7' tall or more. The blooms are just about to open here in the second week of August. No serious insect or virus problems, and the stems stand up well to strong winds.


On Jun 29, 2015, iwunder51952 from Spokane, WA wrote:

I happened upon a huge un-kept back yard filled with these beautiful 7 feet tall plants in full bloom. The bees were very bad so I couldn't stay long but I thought it was too early to grab a few seeds so I ripped a few stems from the ground, kept them in a soaked towel until I arrived home and immediately planted. Within days I could see the stem was going to take and sure enough by the end of the summer the plant gave me a few flowers grown to almost 4 feet tall. The next spring and summer I had 7 feet tall plants, absolutely gorgeous! I had to move, but too early to retrieve seeds so again I took the plant or a chunk of it right from the ground and quickly transplanted the same way, same day. I now have 5 feet tall, about 25" across filled with little green eyes, one bloomed already ... read more


On May 27, 2015, lovely12 from Midland, MI wrote:

Herbstonne is a great background plant. The foliage is always clean and nice looking.

During early years, it would sometimes flop over because it was so tall. I now cut it back about 6" when it's around 2-1/2' tall. That keeps it about 5-6' tall. Give it plenty of room.

Bees LOVE this plant.


On Mar 12, 2011, DrKirby from Walla Walla, OR wrote:

An eye-catcher. Clear yellow reflexed petals. Grows 6 ft high in xeric garden with reflected heat off windows and brick wall in 80-90 degree summers. With this abuse, gets dry leaves at bottom but flowers vigorously. For support, I stake it and grow it behind Caryopteris shrub 'Dark Knight' which blooms at the same time.
R. lancinata 'Herbstsonne' is more dependable for me than the equally pretty 'Goldquelle'.


On Aug 31, 2010, NancyMcD from Grand Marais, MI wrote:

We grow this plant in a buried bathtub, which works great. The stems are robust and more than 6 feet tall, and have been rock-solid in our high winds on a ridge over Lake Superior. I suspect that getting sufficient moisture and nutrients is vital to stem strength. The flower color is strong yellow, but NOT that harsh, highway-line yellow of some coneflowers. The plant is very cold-hardy. The best feature: it's in bloom now, at the end of August, after the big summer bloomers but before the fall things have started. Wonderful!


On Jun 30, 2010, corgimom from Pontotoc, MS (Zone 7b) wrote:

It is June and my plant ,about 5 ft. across and over 5 ft tall, is covered in blooms. Stunning ! My only problem is that it does tend to flop over in heavy rain/winds. What is a good,strong companion plant to put in front of it ??


On Mar 25, 2010, jojimurph from Cold Spring, NY wrote:

Love this plant. I give it a few haircuts during the growing season to keep it a bit shorter and fuller. I agree that it is better in a cottage or wild garden than a more formal setting.


On Oct 18, 2009, BJames1 from Elizabeth City, NC (Zone 8a) wrote:

This is a great, tall yellow accent for the garden with very hardy, vigorous growth. My plants have survived attacks by voles by increasing in vigor. Unfortunately, voles did consume one of the three that I had purchased and planted along the west side of my home. Rudbeckia 'Herbstonne' blooms late in the spring and into the summer. During years without oppressive drought conditions, there has been a rebloom period that extends the bloom time through most of the summer. I have received compliments on 'Herbstonne' from my neighbors, and they couldn't believe that they were a Black-Eyed Susans. Overall, a very satisfying tall perennial that adds the welcome promise of returning sunshine every year.


On Jun 15, 2009, 505badgolfer from Albuquerque, NM wrote:

A beautiful plant but a PRODIGIOUS water user in the high desert. My one year old plants need daily watering during hot weather.


On Jul 16, 2008, echinops from Logansport, IN (Zone 5b) wrote:

My clump is beautiful, several years old......~7 feet tall.
I started it from direct-sewn seed.
Most remarkably, the soil it is growing in is a mix of sand, rubble and a wee bit of loam.......drains like crazy, quite dry, and yet this clump blooms full-tilt with minimal extra watering in arid Indiana July's.
Mine is paired with hollyhocks to make a great back-of-the border screen.

It's probably a bit too wild in habit for a well-manicured more formal garden. In a cottage-type garden, it fits right in.


On Sep 20, 2006, ktrose from Delaware, OH wrote:

This plant attracts yellow finch birds. I have it planted in front of my kitchen windows and it is a joy to watch the birds swaying in the breeze while they dine on the seed heads. It does well with very little care, reaches 7 feet and blooms through August and September. I cut back some of the plants in front of the clump early in the spring and they bloomed a bit later than the untrimmed ones.


On Aug 18, 2006, muddbear from (Zone 3b) wrote:

This is an awesome plant that grows up to 7 feet high, with a profusion of big yellow flowers! I just love this plant and am waiting until the nursery has their 40% off sale to buy more for around the mailbox.


On Jan 4, 2006, Illinois_Garden from Fox River Grove, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

This has become my favorite of my perennial garden. It blooms beautifully, from July through September. It needs no care, it is heat and drought tolerant, I have it in nearly full sun. When other plants start to dry up for the year, this one is still green, leafy and blooming. I use it as a border plant for my garden, and I've been delighted to see Goldfinches sitting on it.


On Jul 28, 2005, fattmelon from Sophia, NC wrote:

I have experienced the same problems as gardenia1. First leaves, then entire stems turn black and die. Now most of the plant is dead and it is spreading to the other 6-8 plants.


On Jul 30, 2004, gardenia1 from Exton, PA wrote:

I don't understand what happnend but my plant was doing well up until the month of July. Then it started dying, one stem and flower at a time. I would cut the dead one off and the next day or so there would be 2 or 3 more dead. The next thing I know they were all dead. I don't know if somebody has done something or if my soil is lacking nutrients. But all my other flowers seem to be doing fine. Can someone tell me what the may have been the problem and if my flowers will bloom again next year?


On Jul 29, 2004, gonedutch from Fairport, NY wrote:

During one of the wetest summers that I remember here this Rudbeckia 'Herbstsonne' (German for 'autumn sunshine') does well in my garden, near the Erie Canal in upstate New York. Only once did I find two snails who, fortunately for my garden, apparently had not yet met :) One blooming stalk did begin to flop due to the rainsoaked soil but I straightened it with a green-colored 9-foot bamboo stake. It is important to get to this task quickly before the flowerhead begins to bend toward the light.
This is one of the longest lasting, and tallest, perennials in my garden and, therefore, much enjoyed.


On Mar 25, 2004, saya from Heerlen,
Netherlands (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant showed remarkable strong during our last hot summer (the hottest in past 100 years!) with weeks of temps far over 30C in a sunny spot. It stayed looking so fresh and kept flowering until the sharp frosts has hitten it. Nothing could harm this Rudbeckia: extreme rain or drought and no bug, even a tiny one, has been seen. I sure can recommand this plant.


On Aug 3, 2002, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

The green cones make this an interesting plant combined with the height it sure stands out in the flower bed. It's long blooming season makes it a nice addition to the my garden.It starts blooming mid to late summer and will bloom into early Autumn.