Rudbeckia subtomentosa ‘Henry Eilers’

Though a relative of the more common black-eyed Susan, this perennial grows four to 5 feet tall and is topped with 2-inch wide pinwheel flowers with a brown center and 15 to 20 sulfur yellow ray florets. Unlike the typical ray flowers that splay out flat, in ‘Henry Eilers’ florets are rolled lengthwise into a quill shape. It blooms in late summer, peaking in mid-August.

It’s an upright grower with leaves on the lower part of the plant divided into three segments. Foliage exposed to slight drought stress gives off a faint vanilla scent, the reason for the common name. The species ranges from Wisconsin to Louisiana and is usually found in low, open meadows, in the half shade near streamsides and along roadways.

…Quilled sweet coneflower should be given a sunny location at the back of the border. It’s compatible with other perennials in the sunny border, but over feeding, keeping it too wet or over crowding may cause it to topple over on its neighbors.

It has good drought tolerance and survived the horrific 2005 east Arkansas drought without difficulty. According to Larry, only about 15 or 20 percent of the seedlings retain the quilled character, so propagation should be from springtime division.” – Excerpted from an article by Gerald Klingaman, Extension Horticulturist, UofA Cooperative Extension

Rudbeckia subtomentosa ‘Henry Eilers’

Hi I’ve a Rudbeckia Henry Eileen’s plant purchased 2 yrs ago, not really flowered much last year and not at all this year. It’s in its original pot about 20cm diameter, has about 12 leggy stems with leaves turning black. Any thoughts? Regards, Chris



Hello there It will be dying back for autumn now so the leaves dying is quite normal, but it really needs to be planted out into the garden or into a much larger pot with fresh compost. If it is in the original pot it will have used up any nutrients long ago so as soon as possible, as long as the ground isn’t frozen or freezing outside, I would plant it out into the garden. When you take it out of the original pot you will need to gently tease out the roots and then plant with some well rotted organic matter. I have attached a link below on planting perennials that might help.

2016-10-26 when does the coneflower flower?



Hello, These start flowering in late summer and often continue well into autumn.



Hi I am trying to find plants that will tolerate heavy clay. In winter there is a very high water table and a lot of moisture but in the summer it gets bone dry. Any ideas? Regards, Malcolm



Hello there There are plants that will tolerate a clay soil, but very few plants will like to sit in waterlogged soil. I first would try to improve your soil as much as possible by digging in plenty of well rotted organic matter, and some grit to increase the drainage. Probably the best place to start, is with our plant search facility – which is at the top of each page where you can select shrubs, perennials, climbers etc by clicking on the images or text. This will take you to a more in depth search facility where you can select the type of soil, the aspect , how much sun etc. This will show you the full range of plants that fit this criteria.

2014-07-16 Hi I’m a novice. Can I plant these in a container? If so what space between each and what size of container? Thanks



Hello, Ideally these should be planted in the ground, but if you do decide to try them in a pot, then I would recommend planting three in a 60cm diameter pot. I would also opt for a pot that has a nice wide base as the plants can get quite tall.



Do rudbeckias respond well to Chelsea chop?



I do Chelsea chop Heleniums in my East Midlands garden; I usually cut back by about a third as this reduces the height and makes them easier to manage. It delays the flowering slightly compared with the ones not cut back but produces a good display on neater plants well into the Autumn if dead-headed occasionally. As i have large clumps of these plants I cut some back and leave others for a longer display.



Hello there The Chelsea chop is normally carried out towards the end of May, to limit the size, and control the flowering season of many herbaceous plants. I haven’t heard of Rudbeckias being given the Chelsea chop, -I wouldnt think there would be much of the plant to chop at that time of year being a late flowerer. Regards


Rudbeckia, Sweet Black-Eyed Susan, Sweet Coneflower ‘Henry Eilers’

View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown – Tell us


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone

Can be grown as an annual


Unknown – Tell us

Bloom Color:

Gold (yellow-orange)

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown – Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Other details:

Unknown – Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown – Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Unknown – Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Derby, Kansas

Louisville, Kentucky

Ludington, Michigan

Ronkonkoma, New York

Pineville, North Carolina

Salem, Oregon

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Charleston, South Carolina

North Augusta, South Carolina

Arlington, Tennessee

Christiana, Tennessee

Clarksville, Tennessee

Memphis, Tennessee

Lexington, Virginia

Newport News, Virginia

Pearisburg, Virginia

Menasha, Wisconsin

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