Orange Coneflower

Orange coneflower is native to a few panhandle counties.

Orange coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida) graces the entrance to Sopchoppy Depot Park because of its long blooming season. The charming yellow-orange flowers are still on display now. This carefree perennial grows 1-3 feet tall, attracts native bees, and is a larval host for the silvery checkerspot butterfly. Orange coneflower is related to black-eyed susan (Rudbeckia hirta) but is far less common in Florida. Whereas black-eyed susan occurs nearly statewide, orange coneflower is native to just a few central panhandle counties. Unfortunately, most nurseries carry the cultivar Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldstrum’ instead of the native wildflower. Changes growers make to the size, shape, or color of a native flower can make it harder for native pollinators to find and obtain nectar and pollen. Experts advise planting true natives for this reason.