Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Orange Coneflower - Rudbeckia fulgida   Aiton
Members of Asteraceae:
Members of Rudbeckia with account distribution info or public map:
Google Images
Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
DistributionLow Mountains, Piedmont, and several places in the Coastal Plain near brownwater rivers. Absent from the Sandhills proper. See note in Taxonomic Comments.

NY to IL, south to FL and AL.
AbundanceFairly common to common in the eastern and central Piedmont; uncommon to infrequent in the Mountains and western Piedmont. Rare in the Coastal Plain, essentially along brownwater floodplains. Plants usually grow in patches from spreading stolons.
HabitatMesic to moist (or dry) roadsides, meadows, fields, forest margins, powerlines, and openings in forests and woodlands. Grows best in higher pH soil, but not a requisite.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting August-October.
IdentificationAmong our coneflowers this one stands out because of its orange or orange-yellow ray florets (vs. pure yellow), typically slightly darker in color at the base of the rays than on the outer portions. Plants grow 1-2 feet tall when not mowed, the stems short-hairy, leaves alternate and broadly lance-shaped to elliptical or narrowly ovate. The central disk is dark brown. Though it looks somewhat like the familiar Black-eyed Susan (R. hirta), that species blooms in late spring and early summer (May to July).
Taxonomic CommentsAt least 3 varieties occur in NC, according to FNA. Specimens at NCU have also been annotated recently by J.J.N. Campbell. However, until specimens in other herbaria are updated, it is premature to split out the varieties here in NC. Weakley (2020) splits out R. spathulata from R. fulgida, but the editors are not certain enough that this is warranted, nor how this taxon relates to the older var. umbrosa, for example, or to the spathulata taxon.

Other Common Name(s)None
State RankS4 [S5]
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpFAC link
USACE-empFAC link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Photo Gallery
B.A. SorriePiedmont, in narrow powerline. 13 Oct 2018. Not keyed to subspecies or var. MoorePhoto_natural
Select a source
Select an occurrence type