Western coneflower is an unusual yet jovial wildflower. Once you discover and familiarize yourself with western coneflower you will notice it in seeps and meadows throughout the Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains, and you will just have to stop and watch the bumble bees foraging on the flowers. Although western coneflower doesn’t have the showy yellow ray petals like its nearby relatives, waxy coneflower or California coneflower, it is just as attractive to pollinators and must have an ecological advantage to skipping the production of ray flowers. The hundreds of flowers within the cone (disc florets) are a feast for hungry bees and butterflies whose colors pop out on the backdrop of the dark purple coneflower. Blooms June to August but deadheading can prolong the bloom time. A perennial wildflower growing 3′-5′ tall, western coneflower takes well to the garden environment as long as regular water is available. It prefers medium to moist well-drained soil and full sun. Grows throughout the Western United States. A member of the sunflower or aster family (Asteraceae), and a relative of the eastern native, black-eyed susan, which is also in the genus Rudbeckia.
Rudbeckia occidentalis seed packets contain 1/4 teaspoon of seed.
Seed Germination Instructions
30 days cold-moist stratification. Sow outside in fall to early spring.