Monday, August 24, 2009

Rudbeckia Triloba

What a morning! Didn't sleep well last night so I was
tired and cranky when I finally got up. Fed the cats and Hocus promptly threw up his breakfast on the kitchen floor. Stop everything and clean that up. Running behind, open the kitchen door and the knob comes off in my hand. Waste precious minutes trying to fit it back on the door, no luck, gotta go. Start the car and remember I forgot my purse inside. Back to the house but I can't get in, broken door will not unlock. Climbed through the dining room window... glad nobody could see that. Grabbed my purse, still can't get the kitchen door open. Out the dining room window and back to the car. Looks like a stain on my shirt sleeve from the window frame. Have to find a new door knob at Home Depot on the way home.

Guess tonight I'll learn how to install a door knob, but right now, I'm not going to think about it anymore.

Khlem Arboretum had a plant sale early in the spring. Mostly hostas, daylilies and the more common perennials. I managed to pick up a couple things, a Fireworks Solidago, a couple more Virginia Bluebells and a NOID marked Brown Eyed Susan. The BES interested me, it wasn't Goldstrum or Rudbeckia hirta or anything I'd ever grown before. The elderly lady standing beside the plants told me sincerely that I would like it.

Months pass, the BES is healthy and growing but still not blooming. By the edn of July, it's three feet tall, well branched and starting to tip so I have to stake it. Finally it blooms. She's right, I do like it. I really like it.

It must be Rudbeckia triloba, which may be a short lived perennial but more likely an annual or a biennial, depending on which site you use to ID it. It covers itself in little brown-eyed golden flowers with rounded petals. Very charming. It is sometimes called a branched coneflower and according to web sites is later and longer blooming than Goldstrum. Only one reference to it in trade and that is for the cultivar Prairie Glow.

It should have been pinched or cut back in June to create a shorter, fuller plant that didn't need to be staked, but of course I didn't know that in June. According to books and Internet sites it self sows, but nothing self sows in my garden so I can't depend on that. I'll either have to winter sow or repeat the indoor seed starting disaster of 2009. Winter sowing seems my best option since it probably won't bloom that first year anyway.

I'm sure some of you gardeners have grown this plant. Is it indeed biennial? Please let me know if you have experience with it.

But the flower leaned aside

And thought of naught to say,

And morning found the breeze

A hundred miles away.
~ Robert Frost

NOTE: It seems that my little nuisance spam poster is still managing to post comments on my site so I will have to go to plan B and use word verification again.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Even though it isn't funny I nearly fell out of my chair laughing when I read about you climbing into the diningroom window to get your purse...and worse yet having to go back out the window. Poor girl, what a start to the day. I hope everything went well from there and the cat feels better when you get home. Hugs...

cherry said...

oppps... I laughed too !
love the Rudbeckia hope it gets better really quick .
hugs, Cherry

Chloe m said...

I am sorry you had a bad morning, hope the week gets better for you and your cat!

Anonymous said...

The flowers are nice and will probably be thicker next season. I like your explanation too.

Thank you for visiting and commenting on my birds blog.

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Hi Marnie, I LOVE your blog. I'm sorry but your post (which I'm sure wasn't very funny to you at the time) made me laugh.. You've heard the saying: When it rains, it pours!----WELL--hopefully it won't 'pour' on you today, as you learn about your new doorknob!!!! Good Luck!!!!!

Love your BES's... You do have lots of them. AND--one thing which makes them so pretty to me is the pretty green leaves around the flowers. Gorgeous.

Have a BETTER day.

Darla said...

Your morning was full of entertainment! The flower looks like what grows wild on our roadsides!! Going to dig some up soon..

Susie said...

Sorry Marnie I too found your morning story pretty funny. My hubbie thinks these things only happen to him.

Good luck with the doorknob. Hopefully that will go easy for you.

Sorry I haven't grown this rudbeckia before. It is very pretty and certainly worth the wait for the blooms.

Connie said...

The BES is a handsome looking plant! I tried growing it from seed one year, but didn't get any germination, will have to try again. I like taller plants for the back of my rock gardens.

ShySongbird said...

I'm so sorry Marnie but that was so funny and it really tickled me, the trouble is I could actually 'see' the events unfolding and just to add insult to injury I just have to read it out to HLH (His Loyal Highness, my husband) after I finish this comment ;) What a good job you weren't arrested, someone breaking in through a window and re-emerging clutching a purse! Right I will stop it now :)

I love your BESs, lovely and cheerful, I also loved the Robert Frost verse.

Thanks for putting a smile on my face Marnie :)

sweetbay said...

That does not sound like a good morning! One of those times that's funny in the telling but not funny when it's happening..

Brown-Eyed Susan is a wonderful plant. The color is just so vivid.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Lisa, I can almost laugh about it now;) You should have seen me perched on a tottering lawn chair climbing through the window.

Hi Cherry, thanks. No serious harm done except to my pride;)

Hi Rosey, it sure can't get much worse. I should have just gone back to bed;)

Hi Abe, I hope to have several more clumps next season too.

Hi Betsy, I've heard that saying and also the one about bad luck coming in threes.


Roses and Lilacs said...

Darla, I'll bet it is the same plant that grows wild in your area.

Hi Susie, my mornings aren't usually quite this bad, thankfully.

Hi Connie, I hope I can get a few plants from seed next season. I'm not real good at seed starting.

Hi ShySongbird, wouldn't that have been something to have the police come. That would have been hard to explain;)

Hi SweetBay, you're right, I was in kind of a huff climbing thru the stupid window...twice;)


Jann said...

Can't help but laugh at the 'slapstick' morning you had! Very pretty flower photos too!

Kay said...

Thank you so much for your visit, Marnie. I'm very happy to meet you. We lived in the Chicago area for 35 years and we miss it. Your blog gave me a reminder of how beautiful it is there. I'm sorry for your crazy morning. It made for a great post though. :-)

tina said...

Yup, sounds like a Monday! Too funny. Hope you made it to work okay. I have no experience with this triloba. It sure is pretty though! And here's hoping your week gets better from here.

Naturegirl said...

Marnie I would have gone back to bed w/ the kind of morning you had!!! Too that you can talk about it!
I have those little brown eyed rays of sunshine...have for several them..but NOW I know to cut them back as you said...they do get tall and leggy and flop over!
Darn racoons got into them..trying to clean up seeds that fell from feeders and broke off many of my tall stems!! Oh well that will be their pruning for this year!

BeadedTail said...

Not a fun way to start the day but hope you got the door knob fixed! Those flowers are pretty - so bright and cheery! I bought more plants off the clearance rack this weekend and I think you've blogged about them before but I'm not sure. I think they were called Sepulvia roses or something like that. I hope they turn out like the picture in the pot showed!

Dawn said...

Okay...that usually sounds like me and my kids transitioning to the car, although I might of broke the pane of glass in the window by pushing it up, and have! Good thing it was doubled walled and didn't completely break on me.
I'd love these little soozies (I call them all that) they are starting to bloom every where up here and are so pretty.
Durn spammers made me use the word thingy also.

Gail said...

Some mornings are like that marnie...a cascading effect of crud! Glad you weren't arrested b&e-ing your own house!

I love triloba...It's a great plant for seeding itself about and always surprises me when it blooms.


Dig, Grow, Compost, Blog said...

What a start to the work week! Best to revert to flowers. :-) I don't know a thing about your BES but I'm glad you've shown it to us. I also noticed your photo of a Pearly Crescentspot on the right, which I managed to see on my Susans just this afternoon. I had looked it up in my butterfly book before since it was supposed to be in my area. But until I saw it in my garden, I had no idea it was so tiny. And pretty!

beckie said...

Marnie, I have to agree with the others-pretty funny when it happens to someone else. But, we're not laughing at you, we are laughing with you. :)Good luck with your door knob. And how smart of you to leave a window unlocked!

I've not grown this plant, but love the name Prarie Glow-you will have to save some seeds to share. Personally, I like the taller plants if you have a place to grow them where they will be supported by other plants or a fence of some kind. I'll bet the bees and butterflies wiil be drawn to those gorgeous blooms.

Pat said...

I would like a answer to that question also about Rudbeckia.
I've heard 2 years and some consider that a perennial.
Wish it wasn't true...don't want to spend that kind of money every year or two to have them in my garden.

Read almost every comment and didn't notice an answer. I'll check back later.
Also Marnie...a question...
What is the other geranium you just got?


Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Jann, it was pretty much like a Three Stooges morning--minus stooges 2 and 3;)

Hi Kay, looking back it was only bad because I was late and tired. I'm laughing about it now;)

Hi Tina, actually, Monday might turn out to be the high point of my week.

Hi NatureGirl, those darn raccoons can do a lot of damage.

Hi BeadedTail, I need to stop by the garden centers and see if I can pick up some bargains too.


Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Dawn, I wish google would do something about spammers so we wouldn't have to deal with them. I read BES grow wild in some areas of the country.

Hi Gial, LOL "a cascading effect of crud!" That about sums it up;)
Glad to find a couple bloggers who grow and like these plants.

Hi Jean, The little Pearl Crescents are one of the common butterflies here. I got some more photos of him yesterday afternoon. I agree they aren't very big but they sure are pretty.

Hi Beckie, its OK, I'm laughing at me too;) I'm going to try to save lots of seed from the triloba. I like tall plants but I don't like staking them. Too bad there aren't many that stand up on their own.

Hi Patsi, I'll ask Gail more about triloba and let you know. The only two geraniums I bought this year were the blue perennial Rozanne (which I love), and the annual Geranium 'Regal Elegence' (sometimes called pansy faced geraniums which expired early in the summer:(.


A Wild Thing said...

I have crawled through too many windows in my day,,,the hardest was the slider in the back of my truck...thought for sure the butte would get makes life I have keys hidden!

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Those are indeed wonderful blooms. Hope your day got better. You probably found out by now that installing a new doorknob is pretty simple. I replaced one earlier this year and was amazed how straight-forward it was (now drilling the holes would have added a lot of difficulty!). :)

Kathleen said...

oh, I hate mornings like that! I've had them too tho I don't know if I could crawl thru my windows or not?!!! That would be interesting. Why is it when something goes wrong at the beginning of the day, many other things follow suit? There must be an explanation for that! Good luck installing your door knob. I've put on quite a few and it's really pretty easy.
Triloba is a great plant. I can't say whether it's a perennial or not. I had it planted in a previous Colorado garden where it did come back the second year and bloom but then I moved. So no idea what happened the third year. I've never planted it here but I do remember I did not have to stake it?? It seems like it was pretty sturdy ~ I wonder what the difference is??
About nicotiana sylvestris, it does need plenty of room in the garden. For such teeny little seeds they sure do grow into substantial size plants! Once you get them growing, hopefully you'll always have them. I don't have any trouble getting them to self sow here.
Hope the rest of your day improves!

Gayle said...

Oh my, I had to smile at your morning. Yesterday I got up early, the downstairs bathroom is out of commission in a re-model, so I ran upstairs to run to the toilet. I squished into fresh dog poop on the stairs. AGH!! Monday morning I thought! It ended up a good day anyway!

oldcrow61 said...

I just can't get the picture of you climbing through the dining room window out of my mind, lol.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Sharon, too bad we don't have pictures. They would make blog photos;)

Hi Monica, it was real easy to put the knob on, BUT the key wouldn't turn the lock so I had to go back for a second knob and uninstall and reinstall.

Hi Kathleen, thanks for the tips on nicotiana and triloba. After my second 15 mile trip to Home Depot to get the second knob, the day went fairly well;)

Hi Gayle, eeuww, glad you day got better;)

Hi OldCrow, I wish I had a picture. By the end of the day I was getting real good at slipping thru that window. Considering a career as a cat burgler;)


Balisha said...

Sitting here imagining you going through the window. Hope you can fix it without too much trouble. Thanks for the laughs....Balisha

Rose said...

A gorgeous Susan, Marnie! I do hope it self-seeds for you. Your day sounds like the story of my life:) I do hope you can get that doorknob fixed--this has happened to us before, and actually I think replacing a doorknob is one of the easier home projects. And I can relate to your "indoor seed starting disaster of 2009"--I'm going to try Monica's winter sowing ideas next year.

Catching up on reading today after being gone a the Fiesta del Sol! I think I've already put this on my plant wish list after seeing your recommendation earlier.

Hope your day today got off to a better start:)

The Birdlady said...

We often have people come into the store asking "Where are the little yellow birds?" he little yellow flowers just made me think of that and smile. Thanks.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Balisha, it wasn't too much trouble to fix, lucky for me.

HI Rose, nice to see you back. Hope you got the daughter organized and ready for school.

Hi Helen, the flora and fauna may change but the questions are the same;)


Cheryl said...

Wel thank goodness others laughed....sorry Marnie but that was so funny. I have had days like that.....I think we all have....better day tomorrow perhaps??

The Susan is lovely.....I think they are a wonderful addition to the garden....perhaps it will seed around??

BeadedTail said...

Marnie, I just went out and watered my plants that I bought and it's Salvia Sensation Rose - boy was I off on that name before! Anyway, thanks again for giving me the courage to just enjoy flowers for what they are and not worry about planning all the time!

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the rough start to you day, but it sounds like you were rewarded by the blooming of that pretty BES. I've never heard of it, but long bloom time appeals to me. I dearly love BES, but wish they stayed in bloom all summer long. Any monarch caterpillars yet? I have three big ones! They are devouring my milkweed, but that's okay, it's why I grow it!

Pat said...

Guess it was the 'Regal Elegence' .
If it's spent already...forget about it.
So I'm guessing one has to buy black-eyed susans every 2 years...think they're worth it.

Anonymous said...


I love triloba. I have been observing it for 3 years and would put it in the short-lived perennial category. I have carefully marked where blooming mature plants grew and plants have returned from that same root ball. It does self-seed here so I have been careful to note location. Seedlings transplant fairly easy when they are smaller than 4"-5", but bigger than 2". Birds love the seed heads, so it is worth leaving stand in winter. Here in zone 4 we don;t have to stake it. I don't think I would deadhead the primary stalk before bloom to thicken and bulk up the plant. I think that might cause it not to bloom, but if unsightly, you could dead head individual flowers although I have never seen the need.

trailrider731 said...

hay hay, let me know how the door knob repair goes? and does the book have a section in it on HOW TO REMOVE the remains of a broken key from the knob?? I sure could use some tips, found a few on the net, so far none have worked!!

Have a great day,
the best is yet to come!!!

Kerri said...

Oh boy, what a day! The mind picture is hilarious :) I hope the door knob was an easy fix.
Your triloba has a slightly different flower than's a little bigger.
Mine seeds itself like a weed. I have to really be diligent about deadheading and then pulling seedlings in the spring...but I love it for the late blooms and height. It's hard to believe it won't self-sow for you, but time will tell. Seeds are easy to save. I'd say it's a biennial. It acts just like my Gloriosas. A few come back, but most self sow to make new plants.