Meet Rudbecki maxima – or giant coneflower. It’s big. It’s bold. It’s in-your-face yellow, and I love it. It’s an American native (to a few western states) with grayish green foliage and tall strong stems. Very tall stems. This is definitely a back of the border or major statement plant that grows from five to seven feet tall, but doesn’t need staking.
Fine Gardening says it “makes a strong vertical statement.” Yes indeed, it most certainly does.
The cones are big, too, and get to be about 4 inches tall, to the great delight of birds, especially goldfinches. It’s hardy to zone 4, and is a plant that grows naturally in wet places, although it has proven to be drought-tolerant here.
This plant likes full sun to part shade and average soil. Rust, aphids and powdery mildew can be problems, but in my experience, this is a tough, trouble-free plant.