Correcting A Case Of Mistaken Identity

The plant in question blooming 7-14-2006

The plant in question blooming 7-14-2006

For August Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD) I highlighted the foliage of a plant that I have grown for years. As it happens I have been referring to it mistakenly as Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes.’  Seen above on July 14, 2006 with yellow flowers, this is the plant in question. I cannot be sure but the plant looks fairly well established, not newly added.

Then here is a photograph of a plant label, taken the following day, that is the likely source of the mixup. How or why the confusion I can only guess, but apparently the real ‘Irish Eyes’ did not survive.

Plant tag for Rudbeckia hirta 'Irish Eyes' 7-15-2006

Plant tag for Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’ 7-15-2006

Fortunately Tammy at casa mariposa shared the actual name of my plant and I am very grateful to her for helping me correct the identification. This native perennial wildflower actually is Rudbeckia laciniata (Wild Golden Glow or Greenheaded Coneflower).

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Tammy noted, “The hirtas have furry oval leaves and are much shorter.”  My rudbeckia has deeply lobed and coarsely serrated lower leaves, not furry, oval ones, and whereas R. hirta ‘Irish Eyes’ is 30 inches tall,  R. laciniata ranges in height from 3 to 12 feet (mine is closer to 6 feet).

So thanks Tammy! I am happy to know the true identity of this Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower) and clarify it for my readers.

Since foliage is not the main focus today, I will share a few images of the blooms. A few years ago a piece of the original broke off with a bit of root attached so I planted it in a spot just outside the garden gate. All sorts of insects are drawn to the nectar and American goldfinches love the seeds.

American goldfinch enjoying seeds of Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

American goldfinch (upper right) enjoying seeds of Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Before opening the yellow ray flowers curve up around the yellow-green cone.

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

As the blossom matures the rays droop back and downward.

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

It is interesting to see the seeds forming.

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Ok, from now on it is Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower).

22 thoughts on “Correcting A Case Of Mistaken Identity

  1. Christina

    The great thing about blogging is that someone out there always knows when we’ve made a mistake and corrects us so we don’t continue to make the same mistake for ever. I wish my Rudbeckias were doing as well as yours Susie, have a great weekend.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      So true Christina. I appreciate learning the correct name. Now I worry about all those old posts that give the name incorrectly, but doubt I’ll worry about updating them at this point. Hope you enjoy a great weekend too. The weather here has turned spectacularly beautiful. Still dry, but the air has changed, it’s slightly cooler and we were able to enjoy a quiet lunch yesterday on the beautifully landscaped terrace of one of our favorite restaurants.

      Reply
  2. greenbenchramblings

    Mistaken identity of plants often occurs in gardens I think but usually it is incorrect labelling in the garden centres. We have a Persicaria amplexicaulis at the moment which was labeled Firetail which should have slim flower spikes but ours has very bulky flowers. Great plant though!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Yes, I imagine that happens a lot. At least you’re pleased with the Persicaria you ended up with.
      I can’t be sure in this case. If the Rudbeckia in the 2006 photo had looked recently planted I would have been inclined to think the plant was labelled wrong at the nursery. Since it looked like it had been there a while I expect I was just searching back through and adding titles to old photos.

      Reply
  3. bittster

    That was an easy mistake to make. What are the odds your interloper would also have irish green eyes? I would suspect mislabeling when you first got it and with the green centers why would you suspect otherwise?
    Beautiful pictures btw, the summer blooms look so fresh!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Yes, green eyes, green centers. Was easy to assume… Thanks, but I’m hiding most of the garden at this point. We’ve had so many days without rain most things are looking so sad.

      Reply
  4. mattb325

    I’ve had the same experience, but like Christina says, that is the great thing about blogging….someone is always out there to help out with an ID (or a mis-ID) It’s a beautiful rudbekia, regardless of its name!

    Reply
  5. rickii

    Just think: had she not been mis-identified, she might not have gotten this post all to herself. I have had many plants turn out to be something other than the label says, even from reputable sources. I like the fact that gardening is not an exact science.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      You’re right Rickii, she might not have had a solo show. I’ve had a few incorrect orders too from mail-order places in particular. When I first began blogging I was terrified of getting things wrong because really, what did I know about gardening? But I’ve since learned this is a welcoming, warm community and I’m slowly gaining some knowledge through osmosis.

      Reply
  6. Chloris

    Whatever its name, it is lovely, but the great thing about blogging is if you forget a name, there is usually someone out there to help you. I love all the rudbeckias, including the annual ones.

    Reply

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