Sweet coneflower Rudbeckia subtomentosa 'Henry Eilers'
The plant in question, commonly known as Sweet coneflower or 'Henry Eilers', is a distinctive perennial with an attractive appearance. It boasts bright yellow flowers with a unique quilled petal shape that gives a textured effect to its blooms. Each flower is centered by a prominent, cone-shaped, dark brown or almost black center from which the common name "coneflower" is derived. The petals, radiating from the central cone, are rolled into tubular forms and can have a slightly reflexed, or turned back, quality as they spread outwards. Adding to its appeal, the leaves of the 'Henry Eilers' are lance-shaped with serrated edges and have a rough, hairy texture. The foliage is a deep green color, lending a lush backdrop to the cheerful yellow flowers. The plant is known for its lovely vanilla scent that can attract butterflies and other pollinators to the garden, enhancing its horticultural charm. Overall, Sweet coneflower 'Henry Eilers' adds a touch of whimsy and vibrancy to any garden space with its bright blossoms and fragrant leaves.
About this plant
Sweet Coneflower, Henry Eilers Coneflower, Henry Eilers Black-Eyed Susan, Sweet Black-Eyed Susan, Henry Eilers.
Rudbeckia subtomentosa 'Henry Eilers'.
The Sweet coneflower is generally not considered toxic to humans. There are no typical symptoms of poisoning because the plant is not known to be poisonous if ingested. As with any plant material, individual sensitivities can cause reactions in some people, but the Sweet coneflower is not associated with serious toxicity.
Sweet coneflower is also not considered toxic to pets. It is not known to cause serious illness or symptoms of poisoning if pets consume parts of the plant. As each pet may react differently to various plants, some might experience mild gastrointestinal upset, but this is not common and the plant is generally safe around pets.
Color of leaves
4-5 feet [1.2-1.5 meters]
2-3 feet [0.6-0.9 meters]
- General Benefits
- Attracts Pollinators: Provides nectar and pollen for bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects, enhancing pollination in gardens and natural areas.
- Low Maintenance: Requires minimal care once established, making it ideal for gardeners who prefer low-maintenance landscapes.
- Drought Tolerance: Once established, it has a good tolerance for drought conditions, reducing the need for frequent watering.
- Long Blooming Season: Offers a long season of visual interest with its bright, cheerful yellow flowers that bloom from late summer into fall.
- Aesthetic Appeal: Adds a bold splash of color to borders, beds, and wildflower gardens with its unique quilled petals and tall, upright habit.
- Wildlife Support: Its seeds provide food for birds in the fall and winter months, helping support local wildlife populations.
- Native Plant Advantages: Being native to certain regions in North America, it is adapted to local climates, soils, and ecosystems, which can contribute to the health and stability of local habitats.
- Easy to Propagate: Easily propagated by seeds or division, allowing gardeners to expand their plantings or share with others without additional cost.
- Resistant to Pests and Diseases: Exhibits good resistance to many common pests and diseases, lowering the need for chemical treatments in the garden.
- Cut Flower: Its strong stems and long-lasting blooms make it an excellent choice for cut flower arrangements.
- Medical Properties
This plant is not used for medical purposes.
- Air-purifying Qualities
This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.
- Other Uses
- Butterfly attracting: 'Henry Eilers' is known to attract butterflies due to its bright, showy flowers, making it an ideal addition to butterfly gardens.
- Cut flowers: The long-lasting blooms of 'Henry Eilers' make them suitable for fresh floral arrangements and bouquets.
- Dried floral arrangements: The flowers can also be dried and used in permanent arrangements or crafts for their interesting cone shape and texture.
- Natural dye: The flowers and stems may be used to produce a natural dye for coloring fabric or yarn.
- Photography: The unique quilled petals of 'Henry Eilers' provide a stunning subject for nature and garden photography.
- Education: It can be used as a botanical specimen in schools for teaching about native plant species and pollination ecology.
- Artistic inspiration: The distinct look of 'Henry Eilers' can inspire artists for paintings, drawings, and other art forms.
- Seasonal decoration: The flowers can be used in fall decorations and arrangements due to their autumnal hues.
- Garden borders: 'Henry Eilers' is suitable for creating visually appealing borders in gardens and landscapes.
- Erosion control: Its extensive root system can help stabilize soil and control erosion on slopes and banks.
- Feng Shui
The Sweet coneflower is not used in Feng Shui practice.
- Zodiac Sign Compitability
The Sweet coneflower is not used in astrology practice.
- Plant Symbolism
- Optimism and Encouragement - Commonly known as Sweet coneflower, Rudbeckia subtomentosa 'Henry Eilers' is associated with positivity. Its bright yellow flowers that resemble the sun are thought to symbolize optimism and good cheer, offering encouragement to those who come across them.
- Longevity and Health - The Sweet coneflower has a robust constitution and can thrive in a range of conditions, which represents endurance and the wish for a long and healthy life.
- Justice and Fairness - The plant's natural balance and the uniformity in the shape of its blooms are sometimes associated with concepts of justice and fairness, reflecting the ideal of equity in society.
- Happiness and Joy - The radiant and vibrant blooms of the Sweet coneflower are often linked to joyfulness and happiness, symbolizing light-heartedness and contentment in a person's life.
Sweet coneflower should be watered deeply and thoroughly, ensuring the soil is moist but not waterlogged. Initially, water them once or twice a week, depending on the weather, to establish a strong root system. Once established, they are relatively drought-tolerant and may only require additional water during prolonged dry spells. During the growing season, it's recommended to provide at least 1 inch of water per week, either through rainfall or manual watering. To avoid fungal diseases, water at the base of the plant and avoid overhead watering.
Sweet coneflower thrives in full sun conditions, requiring at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. The ideal location is an open area with unobstructed sunlight that promotes healthy growth and abundant flowering. Partial shade is tolerated, but too little light can lead to sparser blooms and weaker stems.
Sweet coneflower prefers warm conditions and is hardy in USDA zones 5 to 9. They can tolerate high summer temperatures but thrive in a range between 60°F and 70°F. These perennials can survive minimum winter temperatures down to -20°F, although they die back to the ground and re-emerge in the spring.
Prune sweet coneflower to remove spent flowers and encourage subsequent blooming. Deadheading the faded blooms throughout the growing season can promote a longer flowering period. Cut back the plants to the ground in late fall after the first hard frost to maintain tidiness and help control diseases and pests. Pruning can also be done in early spring before new growth appears.
Sweet coneflower prefers well-drained soil rich in organic matter with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. A mix of garden soil, compost, and peat moss can be ideal.
Sweet coneflower, a perennial, does not require frequent repotting. Repot every 2-3 years or when it outgrows its current space.
- Humidity & Misting
Sweet coneflower tolerates average outdoor humidity levels and does not have specific humidity requirements.
- Suitable locations
Ensure bright light, adequate space, and good air circulation.
Full sun, well-drained soil, and space for clump expansion.
- Life cycle
The common name for Rudbeckia subtomentosa 'Henry Eilers' is Sweet Coneflower. Germination begins in the spring when the soil has warmed, and the seeds, after stratification, respond to the favorable conditions. The seedlings emerge and establish a root system before developing a rosette of foliage. As the plant matures, it sends up tall stems and unfolds bright yellow, distinctively quilled flowers by mid-summer, typically in the second year after sowing. The Sweet Coneflower blooms through late summer into fall, attracting pollinators such as bees and butterflies. After flowering, seeds are produced and dispersed, which can lie dormant until the following spring, while the parent plant dies back to the ground with the onset of winter, completing its perennial cycle.
The most popular method of propagating Rudbeckia subtomentosa 'Henry Eilers', commonly known as Sweet coneflower, is by seed. The best time to sow seeds is in late winter to early spring, when temperatures are consistently around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius). To propagate by seed, fill a seed tray with a well-draining seed starting mix and scatter the seeds on the surface, lightly pressing them into the soil without covering them as they require light for germination. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged and place the tray in a warm, bright area without direct sunlight. Germination usually occurs within 2 to 3 weeks. Once seedlings have grown enough to handle and danger of frost has passed, they can be transplanted outdoors into well-prepared garden soil, spacing them about 18 inches (45 centimeters) apart to allow for mature growth.