Rudbeckia fulgida Ait.

Rudbeckia fulgida plant

Family - Asteraceae

Stems - Multiple from the base, from fibrous and fleshy roots, erect, herbaceous, to +/-50cm tall, branching, angled, sparse antrorse strigose.

Rudbeckia fulgida stem

Leaves - Alternate. Basal leaves long-petiolate. The petioles sparse antrorse strigose, with an adaxial groove, to +15cm long. Blades ovate, shallow serrate to crenate-serrate or almost entire, antrorse strigose (use lens) on both surfaces, acute, rounded to subcordate at base, to +10cm long, +6cm broad. Cauline leaves becoming sessile, shallow coarse serrate, lanceolate, pubescent as the basal leaves. All leaves coriaceous and "crisp", easily ripped or cracked.

Rudbeckia fulgida leaves

Inflorescence - Single flowerheads terminating stems and branches.

Involucre - -3cm broad, flattened. Phyllaries spreading to recurved, in a few series, oblong to oblong-lanceolate, to 1.4cm long, 5mm broad, antrorse strigose, green, blunt to subacute at apex, entire. The apices often darkened slightly. Margins often revolute.

Rudbeckia fulgida involucreInvolucre.

Ray flowers - Sterile, +/-12 per flowerhead. Ligule yellow, to -3cm long, 7mm broad. Achene minute, .5mm long, glabrous, truncate at base. Pappus wanting.

Disk flowers - Disk to 1.3cm broad. Corollas whitish at base but chocolate-purple at apex, 3.1mm long, glabrous, 5-lobed. Lobes acute, erect, .3mm long. Stamens 5, adnate at base of corolla tube, included. Filaments white, compressed, glabrous, with a white prominent midvein, 1mm long. Anthers chocolate-purple, connate around the style, 1.5-1.6mm long. Style exserted, bifurcate, glabrous, white at the base, chocolate-purple at the apex(stigma). Achene 4-angled, white in flower, glabrous, 2mm long in flower. Pappus a minute crown, often somewhat purplish. Receptacle conic. Chaff partially enclosing the achenes and flowers, to 4mm long, white but with purple near the margins and at the apex, mostly glabrous but with a few cilia on the margins near the apex, acute.

Rudbeckia fulgida flowers

Flowering - July - October.

Habitat - Moist places, streambanks, gravel bars, wet ledges.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This species can be found in the Ozark section of Missouri. The plant is quite showy and the species epithet "fulgida" means "gleaming".
The flowers of this species look similar to many other plants in the genus but the leaves and habitat of the plant make it easy to ID in the field.

Photographs taken at the Shut-Ins Mountain Fen, Shannon County, MO., 8-31-03.


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