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Black-eyed Susan is a good perennial choice for butterflies and other pollinators, naturalizing, and rain gardens.

Black-eyed Susan is a good perennial choice for butterflies and other pollinators, naturalizing, and rain gardens. USDA, NRCS. 2012. The PLANTS Database (, 11 October 2012). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldsturm'

Black Eyed Susan

Native to North America (cultivar)


FIRST IMPRESSIONS:  After 65 years in the nursery trade, the amazing Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ still remains part of the popular crowd.  Plants are low maintenance and resilient – thriving in most sunny sites. Striking summer flowers are beloved for their golden orange rays and chocolate brown cones.  Butterflies flock to the blooms and songbirds relish the seeds.

HABITAT & HARDINESS:   The parent species Rudbeckia fulgida occurs in the eastern United States from Massachusetts to the Florida panhandle and west to Wisconsin, Missouri and Texas.  Habitats include moist rocky woods, moist meadows, stream banks, gravel bars, savannas and pastures. 

‘Goldsturm’ was selected in 1937 by Heinrich Hagemann at a nursery in the Czech Republic.  Hagemann admired the compact habit and floriferous nature of the plant and convinced his employer Karl Foerster to propagate and introduce the variety.  Due to World War II, the plant was not introduced until 1949.  The cultivar name ‘Goldsturm’ translates to “gold storm” in English.

‘Goldsturm’ is admired around the world for its attractive golden flowers, healthy dark green foliage, pest resistance, compact habit, long season of bloom, low maintenance and adaptability to a variety of garden situations.

Plants are hardy from USDA Zones 4-8.

PLANT DESCRIPTION:  Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ is a compact branching perennial.  Plants have fibrous roots and form small colonies from short thick rhizomes.

Stems are sturdy and pubescent with leathery dark green lanceolate to ovate leaves.  The blades are 3-6” long becoming smaller and almost bract like as the stems rise. 

Flower heads are borne in profusion almost covering the foliage.  Each daisy-like head is 1-2” across with golden-yellow rays that encircle a robust dark brown cone loaded with disc florets. 

Flowering begins in mid-summer and continues until autumn.  Dense chocolate colored seed heads form and remain into early winter.

Plants grow 2-3’ tall with 1.5-2’ spread.

CULTURAL & MAINTENANCE NEEDS:  The ideal site for Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ has full sun and fertile well drained soil.  Plants adapt to clay or gravelly soils and tolerate part sun, heat and drought.

In the hot humid south, plants need good air circulation and occasional division to discourage foliar diseases.

Deadheading can extend the season of bloom but will remove the seed that are savored by songbirds. 

LANDSCAPE USES:  This is a good choice for a Wildlife Garden, Cut Flower Garden, Prairie or Meadow. Plants are also used as Butterfly Nectar Plants or as part of a Grouping or Mass Planting.   Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ has Showy Blooms and is appropriate for Cottage Gardens, Deer Resistant Plantings, Water-wise Landscapes, Low Maintenance Plantings, Perennial Borders and Roadsides.

COMPANION & UNDERSTUDY PLANTS:  Try pairing Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ with Coreopsis major, Echinacea purpurea, Monarda fistulosa, Liatris spicata, Schizachyrium scoparium and Andropogon gerardii.

Rudbeckia fulgida var. fulgida would be a worthy substitute if needed.

TRIVIA:  Native bees, small butterflies, skippers, pollinating flies and beetles seek nectar and pollen from the flowers.  Caterpillars of several moths feed on the foliage and flowers.  Mammalian herbivores browse the foliage and songbirds relish the nutlike seed.

‘Goldsturm’ was recognized as the Perennial Plant Association's 1999 Perennial Plant of the Year.  In 1993 the cultivar recieved the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.

Also known as Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’.


2-3 ft


2 ft


2 ft

USDA Hardiness Zone:


Bloom Color:


Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldsturm' Characteristics

Attracts Wildlife

  • Butterflies
  • Songbirds
  • Pollinators


  • Drought Tolerant
  • Dried Flower
  • Rock Garden
  • Cut Flower
  • Naturalizing
  • Clay Soil
  • Long Blooming
  • Favorite
  • East-Coast Native


  • Full Sun to Partial Shade

Flowering Months

  • August
  • July
  • September

Foliage Color

  • Green

Juglans nigra Tolerance (Black Walnut)

  • Yes

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Summer
  • Spring

Soil Moisture Preference

  • Moist to Dry

Black Eyed Susan Growing and Maintenance Tips

Rudbeckias like full sun, but they also will do well in partial shade. Plant them in well-drained, not overly rich soil. Removing spent flowers in order to stimulate continuous bloom. They provide winter interest and the seeds are a source of winter food for small birds. Plants will self seed, so if this becomes a maintenance issue it is best to cut back in the fall. Very easily dividable in the spring. It makes a great cut flower.

Plants that work well with Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldsturm'

New England aster New England aster (Aster novae-angliae 'Purple Dome')
Coneflower Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea 'PowWow Wild Berry')
PowWow White coneflower PowWow White coneflower (Echinacea purpurea 'PowWow White')
Switch grass Switch grass (Panicum virgatum 'Heavy Metal')
Dwarf fountain grass Dwarf fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Hameln')
Jacob Cline Bee Balm Jacob Cline Bee Balm (Monarda didyma 'Jacob Cline')
Beard tongue Beard tongue (Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red')

Substitutions for Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldsturm'

Black-eyed Susan Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida v. fulgida)
Black-eyed Susan Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia x 'American Gold Rush PP#28498')