A super easy, long-lasting cut flower
Rudbeckia lacinata ‘Hortensia’
This mid-late summer blooming flower is a real gem. It takes harsh conditions and soils, and gives many long-stemmed, long-lasting cut flowers! It’s hard to find, so get to know about it so you know how and what to look for. And keep your eye out for it.
This plant has some pretty confusing common names; Golden Glow, Cut-leaf Coneflower, and Hortensia. But these are not specific enough. Rudbeckia laciniata is a cut-leaf coneflower, having leaves that are deeply cut and a cone for a center. Wild Golden Glow is the common name for that one.
On this page
But the fantastic, showy, easy-to-grow flower I’m talking about has no cone for a center. It’s scientific name is Rudbeckia laciniata ‘Hortensia’, the one that’s an excellent cut flower. Same species, just a special variety of R. laciniata.
I call it golden glow because that’s what I’ve heard it to be from the few people that know this flower. Searching on Google to see where I could get it led to lots of confusion… with ‘Hortensia’ being the name of this flower. I’ve always heard it as golden glow, so I’m going to stick with that for now.
You’ll have a hard time finding it. It’s never at nurseries. Some online nurseries offer a R. laciniata ‘Wild Golden Glow,’ but it’s the coneflower version, sadly.
Read on about this one because it is well worth seeking it out! You just might find it from a small local flower grower who sells plants at a farmer’s market or at plant sales. Or, maybe it will come back in style one day and be more available. See more in Sources below (I may be offering them soon).
Golden glow plants and flowers
It’s a perennial plant, growing 6–7 ft. tall. It spreads to form a low clump that can be easily divided for new plantings and sharing (which is what you have to do for anyone else to have them!) Flowers are atop the stems and stems are branched with more flower buds below.
Deep green leaves are palmate and deeply cut. It’s a deciduous plant so you won’t see it in the winter.
Golden Glow grows easily and quickly. It’s a deciduous perennial that works well at the back of a border or along a fence or wall.
The flowers are bright lemon-yellow, about 2 ½–3 in. wide on long wiry stems. Blooms mid to late summer, and lasts a full 2 weeks in the vase.
They add a wild, but polished, look to bouquets with their long, branched stems.
They’re fully double, rarely showing their center. But they still attract bees and butterflies.
How to grow
Full sun–pt. shade. Ordinary to good garden soil; it grows well in all soil types.
It’s a tough, easy to grow perennial, handling some drought, ordinary garden soil, and it quickly spreads to form a clump, giving enough material to create many plantings of this flower over time. It’s somewhat deer resistant as well, though I’ve had the flowers eaten off mine. So my plants go int the deer-fenced garden.
It withstands some drought so you don’t need to baby it with water.
Some say it needs a lot of moisture, but since I live in a dry climate, I give mine deep and infrequent water and use plenty of compost as mulch and I have very good growth and flowers.
It tends to grow taller with abundant water, and it can flop over. You can solve this problem by staking up the plant or by cutting the plant back in early summer to encourage bushiness and shorter stems. The stems will still be plenty long for good cut flowers.
My plants have always stood up without support. But I don’t overhead water, we don’t get summer rains, and I stretch their drought tolerance as much as I can and still have tall growth, between 6 to 7 ft., sturdy stems, and lots of flowers. However, some sources say they do better with ample soil moisture, with plants reaching 8 ft.
To propagate golden glow: divide foliage clumps it makes in the fall, winter, or early spring. You will break a piece or pieces off and plant them into prepared soil or into pots to grow their roots over winter.
Cut these long-stemmed flowers below the first set of side shoots and then cut the side-shoots off. Or they can stay on, offering a wilder look to your bouquets. Flowers do well with the regular post-harvest handling, and last up to 2 weeks in the vase!
After cutting the flowers go ahead and cut the remaining stem much lower to where some shoots are started but no buds. Shoots with buds won’t get any longer, the ones without buds will grow good stems and form flower buds. This way you’ll get a second round of flowers late in the summer!
The tall variety called golden glow, or more accurately ‘Hortensia’, is one variety, though an elusive one. There’s another called ‘Gold Coquelle’ that reaches about 3ft. I tried a few once and lost them, whereas I’ve never lost golden glow!
I’ve heard many stories from people about dear relatives and friends who have had this flower and they want to grow it in memory of them. It’s been called an outhouse flower because it would hide the outhouse in summer, or the lack thereof. That indicates how long it’s been around.
Sources for golden glow
As described above, it’s just not available in nurseries. But the plant is definitly around! search the small flower growers at plant sales and farmer’s markets! Look for the flowers in locally grown bouquets and get a hold of the grower. And try to notice any plantings (often along fence lines) and approach the owner to see if you can get a piece of the clump when it has no leaves.
This plant is a hidden gem and well worth seeking out!!! You never know, I just may fire up my little specialty nursery again and offer them by mail….I’ll let you know.
By the way, I have heard many stories about a dear relative or friend who had this flower.
Flowers to go with golden glow
Big, long-stemmed sunflowers, especially the darker varieties, go well with golden glow.
Big, bold amaranth flowers, upright or trailing are perfect as bouquet fillers with golden glow.
The bright colors of globe amaranth bounce off the lemon yellow golden glow beautifully.
The tall long-stemmed varieties are perfect for golden glow. You need to have these flowers aynyway!
These airy bouquet fillers come in several colors. They’re easy to grow and deer resistant.
The long-stemmed flowers in blues or white are a cooling foil to the bright golden glow.