Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Mohr's Coneflower - Rudbeckia mohrii
Mohr's coneflower is unique among our nine species of black-eyed susans and cannot be mistaken for any of the others. It is the only yellow-flowered species to have grass-like leaves and a tall leafless (or near-leafless) flower stalk. This is a perennial species that dies back to the ground in winter and emerges in spring from a stout central stem. As stated above, the basal leaves are linear in shape, without teeth, and up to 12 inches long. From this, a slender flower stem emerges and eventually reaches a mature height of 2-4 feet by the summer.
Flowering occurs from mid-summer to early fall. The photos above were taken in Apalachicola National Forest 13-14 August 2015. The flowers are typical of most black-eyed susans; yellow ray petals surround a chocolate-colored disk. The ray petals are thin and 1 inch long while the central disk is compact and about 1/2 inch across. The ends of the flowering stalks often branch near the top and multiple flowers are the norm atop the stems. Like all black-eyed susans, they attract the attention of various pollinating insects.
Mohr's coneflower has not been regularly offered by commerical nurseries associated with FANN - the Florida Association of Native Nurseries. Its need for moist to saturated soils limits its use in a typical landscape setting, but its perennial nature and attractive flowers make it a wonderful addition to a wetland planting. Presently, we are growing this black-eyed susan at Hawthorn Hill and hope to have some extra plants ready for others by spring 2016. Let us know if you are interested.