Rudbeckia fulgida early bird gold, it may look exactly like Rudbeckia Goldsturm, Don’t be fooled, there is a very interesting difference.
This unusual strain of Rudbeckia was found growing in a field of Goldsturm Rudbeckias at Dupont nursery in Louisiana. It was closely watched over a period of several years and found to consistently bloom two months earlier than Goldsturm.
Here in our garden in Cheshire UK, flowers of early bird did indeed start to open in June, fully two months before Goldsturm.
We are now at the end of October and early bird is still in bloom with Goldsturm also thriving in the border opposite.
We have a position in the front garden where we intended planting Goldsturm to bloom next year, what’s the point! Goldsturm does remarkably well from August through till the beginning of November, but Early bird starts blooming in June.
There is nothing to suggest that this Rudbeckia is short lived or has any negative features, in fact the one which we have, came to Cheshire with us from Aberdeen, where we had it in a container. Its probably performed better here in Cheshire, where the climate is a little kinder, however planted in a sheltered sunny position in Aberdeen there is no reason to think that it would not be successful.
Regular perennial Rudbeckias start to bloom as a result of day length. For whatever reason this part of the make up has not kicked in with Early Bird Gold, resulting in this unusual ability to flower two months earlier than its parent plant.
Our plant which was tucked into a small space, (nothing new there) leaving it pretty much crowded out, still managed to show blooms in June. I have replanted it in a more favourable position for next year and look forward to it doing even better.
Early Bird Gold, a great perennial plant which does not require staking.
Hardiness — fully hardy
Height — 60cm/24″ although ours grew a few inches taller than this
Position — full sun/part shade
Soil — seems to be happiest with soil on the heavy side (free draining)
Propagate — After three/four years divide plants in Spring or Autumn
This is Goldsturm in our back garden in late August. Three quite young plants placed about 18 inches apart. looking good in their first season.
Nothing else to add about this Rudbeckia, (cone flower, black eyed susan) except to confirm that it is identical to Early Bird Gold, except for the flowering period.