Rudbeckia subtomentosa Pursh

sweet coneflower

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Sweet coneflower is native to North America, but not to New England, where it is a popular garden plant. It has been collected in the wild only in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), meadows and fields

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
Leaf type
leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
Leaf arrangement
  • alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
  • basal: the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant
Leaf blade edges
  • the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes
  • the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
Flower type in flower heads
the flower head has tubular disk flowers in the center and ray flowers, these often strap-shaped, around the periphery
Ray flower color
  • orange
  • yellow
Tuft or plume on fruit
there is no plume, or the plume is made up of scales, awns, a crown, or a rim
Spines on plant
the plant has no spines
Leaf blade length
30–150 mm
Flower head width
5–25 mm
Disk flower number
more than 50
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Bases of bract appendages
    NA
    Bract color
    the bracts are not colored or tinged with pink, red or purple
    Bract cycle number
    • there are three or more cycles of bracts
    • there are two main cycles of bracts
    Bract keels
    the bracts do not have keels
    Bract outer side hairs
    the bracts are hairy on their outer surfaces
    Bract shape
    • the main bracts are elliptic (widest near the middle and tapered towards the base and tip)
    • the main bracts are lanceolate (widest above the base, then taper narrowly towards the tip)
    • the main bracts are of a different shape than the given options
    Bract texture
    the bracts have a similar texture to a leaf
    Bract tip color
    the tips are the same color as the center of the bract
    Bract tip extension appearance
    NA
    Bract tip extension edge
    NA
    Bracts
    the bracts in separate cycles are similar or gradually changing from the outer to inner cycles
    Disk flower color
    • blue to purple
    • green to brown
    • yellow
    Disk flower lobe number
    5
    Disk flower number
    more than 50
    Disk flower reproductive parts
    the disk flower has both pollen- and seed-producing parts
    Disk flower shape
    the disk flower is tube-shaped (cylindrical), or gradually widening like a funnel
    Disk width
    5–15 mm
    Flower head number
    each flowering stem has four or more flower heads on it
    Flower head outer flowers
    at the outer edge of the flower head, each flower has a single enlarged lobe or strap
    Flower head platform
    the base has papery scales on it
    Flower head platform surface
    the scales are slightly hairy, at least near the top
    Flower head position
    each of the flower heads is separate on its own peduncle (stalk), not clustered in groups
    Flower head profile
    the disk is conical across the top
    Flower head shape
    the flower head is hemispherical (like the bottom half of a sphere)
    Flower head width
    5–25 mm
    Flower type in flower heads
    the flower head has tubular disk flowers in the center and ray flowers, these often strap-shaped, around the periphery
    Inflorescence branching (Solidago)
    NA
    Inflorescence shape
    • the inflorescence is flat-topped in profile
    • the inflorescence is not flat-topped but appears rounded, with some flower heads distinctly higher than others
    Inflorescence stem
    hairs are present on the stem of the inflorescence
    Number of bracts at flower head base
    5–20
    Ovary attachment
    the ovary is attached at or near the base
    Ovary cross-section
    the ovary is roughly square or with four corners
    Ovary hair type
    • the ovary has hairs on it, but the hairs have no glands
    • the ovary has no hairs on it
    Ovary hairs
    • the ovary has hairs on it
    • the ovary has no hairs on it
    Ovary profile
    in profile, the ovary is another shape
    Ovary surface
    the ovary surface is textured with tiny points, bumps or wrinkles
    Peduncle hair type
    the hairs on the peduncles are simple (not branched), don’t have glands, and are not woolly
    Peduncle hairs
    the peduncles are hairy
    Ray flower color
    • orange
    • yellow
    Ray flower reproductive parts
    there are neither carpels nor stamens in the ray flowers
    Ray flowers
    • 11-15
    • 16-25
    • 6-10
    Ray length
    20–40 mm
    Reproductive system
    all the flowers on the plant contain both carpels and stamens
    Scale tip
    the scales are acute (sharply pointed) at the top
    Smaller bracts at base of bracts
    there is no smaller, outer cycle of bracts
    Style branch number
    the style has two branches
    Style branches
    the style branch is narrow at the tip, or the style branches are narrow at the tips
    Width of flower head base
    15–30 mm
  • Fruits or seeds
    Number of pappus parts
    1
    Ovary length in developed fruit
    2–3.5 mm
    Seed hair tuft bases
    NA
    Seed hair tuft color
    NA
    Seed hair tuft details
    NA
    Seed hair tuft length
    Up to 0.2 mm
    Seed hair tuft tips
    NA
    Seed hairs uniform
    NA
    Seed tuft scale number
    0
    Seed tuft type
    the pappus is made of a circle or rim of lobes or teeth on the ovary
    Top of disk flower ovary
    NA
    Tuft or plume on fruit
    there is no plume, or the plume is made up of scales, awns, a crown, or a rim
  • Glands or sap
    Bract resin
    the bracts have resin or resin glands
    Leaf blade glands
    the leaf blades have glandular (translucent) dots or scales
    Sap
    the sap is clear and watery
  • Growth form
    Growth form
    the plant has one or more free-standing stems
    Plant lifespan
    the plant is perennial, it shows evidence of previous year's leaves, stems or stem bases
    Spines on plant
    the plant has no spines
    Underground organs
    the plant has a rhizome (a horizontal underground stem with roots growing from it)
  • Leaves
    Final leaf segment length (compound lvs only)
    0 mm
    Final leaf segment width (compound lvs only)
    0 mm
    Hairs on underside of leaf blade
    the underside of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    Hairs on upper side of leaf blade
    the upper side of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    Leaf arrangement
    • alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
    • basal: the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant
    Leaf blade base
    • the leaf has a distinct petiole
    • the leaf has no petiole
    Leaf blade base shape
    • the base of the leaf blade is cuneate (wedge-shaped, tapers to the base with relatively straight, converging edges), or narrow
    • the base of the leaf blade is truncate (ends abruptly in a more or less straight line as though cut off)
    • the base of the leaf is cordate (heart-shaped) or sagittate (arrow-shaped)
    Leaf blade bloom
    the underside of the leaf has no noticeable bloom
    Leaf blade edges
    • the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes
    • the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
    Leaf blade hairs
    the leaf blade has simple hairs with no glands, and not tangled or wooly
    Leaf blade length
    30–150 mm
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is elliptic (widest near the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is ovate (widest below the middle and broadly tapering at both ends)
    Leaf blade surface colors
    there is no noticeable color variation on the upper surface of the leaf
    Leaf blade tip
    • the tip of the leaf blade is acuminate (tapers to a long, thin point)
    • the tip of the leaf blade is acute (sharply pointed)
    • the tip of the leaf blade is obtuse (bluntly pointed)
    Leaf blade veins
    the leaf blade has three main veins running from the base towards the tip
    Leaf blade width
    30–100 mm
    Leaf disposition
    the leaves are nearly similar in size, prominence of teeth, and length of stalks throughout the stem
    Leaf spines
    there are no spines on the leaf edges
    Leaf stalk
    the leaves have leaf stalks
    Leaf type
    leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Leaflet number
    0
    Specific leaf type
    the leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Massachusetts
    Specific habitat
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
  • Scent
    Plant odor
    the plant has a pleasant odor, such as licorice, fruit or resin
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Flowering stem cross-section
    the flowering stem is circular, or with lots of small angles
    Leaves on stem
    there is at least one full leaf above the base of the flowering stem
    Stem internode hair direction
    • NA
    • the hairs are pressed flat against the plant, pointing either towards the plant's tip or towards it's base
    Stem internode hair type
    the hairs on the stem are plain, without glands or branches, and not tangled
    Stem internode hairs
    the stem has hairs between the nodes
    Stem wings
    the stem does not have wings on it

Wetland Status

Usually occurs in non-wetlands, but occasionally in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FACU)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
absent
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
absent
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
absent

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

Yes and no (some introduced)

Sometimes Confused With

Rudbeckia laciniata
Rudbeckia triloba

Family

Asteraceae

Genus

Rudbeckia

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

5.  Rudbeckia subtomentosa Pursh E

sweet coneflower. CT, MA. Fields, roadsides, waste areas.