2023 Perennial of the Year Rudbeckia American Gold Rush
Rudbeckia ‘American Gold Rush’ stole the show for its beauty, hardiness, ease of growing, and benefit to pollinators! It is the 2023 Perennial of the Year (voted on by those in the green industry), was also crowned the 2020 All-America Selections National Winner, and The National Gardening Bureau named 2023 The Year of Rudbeckia in its perennial class, a tip of the hat to ‘American Gold Rush’.
So how did this native black-eyed susan draw so much attention? Well, for many reasons: (photo of my neighbor’s AGR)
*It produces masses of 3” wide flowers that boom nonstop summer into early fall. The flowers are a bit smaller compared to ‘Goldsturm’, and a softer color than the brassier ones of ‘Goldsturm’.
*Thanks to its hairy leaves (that have a silvery appearance in full sun), it is resistant to Septoria, a fungal disease that commonly causes black spots on Rudbeckia leaves, making them unsightly.
* ‘American Gold Rush’ has a strikingly uniform, mounded flowering habit, unlike other Rudbeckia. (Photo Chicago Botanic Garden Trial Garden: Foreground ‘Goldsturm’, middle row ‘Little Goldstar’, far row ‘American Gold Rush’
*It is a powerhouse food producer for butterflies and bees in the summer and songbirds.
‘American Gold Rush’ grows to 18”-27” (shorter than ‘Goldsturm’), is drought and deer resistant, and hardy in Zones 4-9.