Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Tiger Eye Gold rudbeckia is the most exciting cut flower in a long time. This is a hybrid black eyed susan or gloriosa daisy.
Very floriferous, the plant has masses of large, vivid golden-yellow petals. The daisy-like blooms are semi-double. The petals open on sturdy stems up to two feet in length. The centers are chocolate brown.
In warmer areas of the country, this can be grown as a perennial. It is hardy to zone ten. Elsewhere, it is best treated as an annual.
The plants are very resistant to heat and humidity. It is also resistant to powdery mildew. In the cutting garden, the plants will require almost no attention.
Tiger Eye Gold is a great variety for the cutting garden. It can be grown from seed. Plants will also be available in garden centers. If youíre starting your own plants indoors, donít cover the seeds. These require light for germination. They will germinate best at a warm temperature at 75 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. The plants will start blooming about four months from the time the seeds are planted.
In the cutting garden, Tiger Eye Gold will need full sun. Space the plants at least two feet apart in the row. As transplants, they get established quickly in the cutting garden.
Tiger Eye Gold is suitable for summer bouquets and all sorts of floral arrangements. They are useful for both accent and mass. Use them as you would any daisy. The stems have a vase life of about ten days or so.
Tiger Eye Gold has received many awards and honors. A Medal of Excellence winner, it was named an award winner during plant trials at the Holeís Greenhouses and Gardens in St. Albert, Alberta, Canada. This was also named a favorite at the Ohio State University trials in Columbus as well as at The Plant Station in Castle Rock, Washington.
It also was named a winner at the Agricultural Research Station trials at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. It was also named as one of the top five plants at the University of Illinois Arboretum in Urbana, Illinois.
Rudbeckia is named in honor of Olof Rudbeck the elder (1630-1702) and the younger (1660-1740).