One of the plants that impressed me the most this past summer is Rudbeckia hirta 'Sonora'.
I didn’t know at the time that I picked this plant up that it’s short-lived, sometimes treated as an annual. But even if I’d known, I still would have taken one home.
A profuse bloomer, this compact, bushy plant flowered throughout the entire season, regularly producing large, golden-yellow daisies with a chocolaty brown center.
It attracted bees and butterflies, and was one of the loveliest things growing in the flower bed under my kitchen window.
Despite the fact that it’s cold hardy to zone 5 (my zone), the most I can expect is that it will survive a few winters, or at least self seed to return in the spring. But even if it doesn’t come back next gardening season, I’m planning to grow this again next year, and maybe every year after that. And if the only way I can do that is by buying a new plant every year, so be it. It’s worth it.
If you haven’t grown this lovely plant already, give it a try. It won’t disappoint.