Kathy over at ColdClimateGardening correctly ID’d one of the mystery flowers in my August bloom day scans as Rudbeckia ‘Golden Glow’. I got this heirloom passalong plant from a neighbor a few years ago, and never knew what it was.
It goes by many names, including Rudbeckia laciniata ‘Hortensis’, ‘Golden Drop’, outhouse plant, or (my personal favorite) shithouse daisy. I read somewhere that hollyhocks were favored as outhouse plants so that Victorian ladies could discretely ask where they could find the hollyhocks when they had to go.
Gardeners were amazed by this sensational double rudbeckia when it burst on the scene circa 1897. “I was delighted with the fullness and gorgeousness of the blossoms and their clear bright yellow color. It grew vigorously, and threw up strong, branching flower stems six feet high, laden with sheaves of golden blossoms as large as fair chrysanthemumsâ€¦” says a horticulturalist from that era. Once a common ‘outhouse flower’ for screening the privy, it is fabulous grown with purple asters for late summer and fall bloom.