Goldsturm Black-Eyed Susan
“Goldsturm” means “Gold Storm” in German, and Goldsturm Black-Eyed Susan truly unleashes a torrent of golden-yellow blossoms in summer. Just when temperatures are beginning to soar and the rest of the garden is starting to feel the heat, Goldsturm opens its bright, cheery blooms. Its chocolate-centered blossoms appear in such abundance that you can hardly see the foliage; they last a long time, too. Take some flowers for the table—you’ll barely notice the loss. Goldsturm makes a fine cut flower for fresh summer bouquets. Enjoy the beauty indoors and out!
This species of Black-Eyed Susan is a native wildflower that grows throughout much of the eastern U.S., from Massachusetts to Florida and as far west as Wisconsin. It provides nectar and pollen for insects and seed for birds, and for those reasons it’s a must for meadow gardens and for wildlife-friendly spaces of all types. Goldsturm is a classic selection of this species discovered in 1937. It was actually found in Europe. An employee of the German plantsman Karl Foerster (best known for ‘Karl Foerster’ Feather Reed Grass) spotted it at a nursery in the Czech Republic. Foerster introduced it in 1949.
Each year since 1991, the Perennial Plant Association chooses one Spirit as its “Perennial Plant of the Year.” Winners must be attractive in multiple seasons, adaptable, low-maintenance, and resistant to pests and diseases. Goldsturm Black-Eyed Susan took the honors in 1999.
How to Grow
Goldsturm Black-Eyed Susan is an adaptable, easy-going Spirit, but does best in a full-sun position in rich but well-drained soil. Water it regularly—about once a week if there’s no rain. The bloom period may be extended by diligent deadheading (trimming the spent flowers off). You may want to leave the end-of-season seed heads standing over the winter, both for some visual interest and for bird food. Cut all dead stems and foliage back before growth resumes in spring. Black-Eyed Susans love heat and may be slow to get started in the spring.
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