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Orange Coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida)

Life history

Species overview

Orange Coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida), a plant, is found in woods, meadows, swamps, or other mesic areas, with full or partial sun. Blooming occurs from July through September. The optimal identification period for this species is July through September.

Synonyms: Rudbeckia fulgida


  • Distinguishing characteristics: Plant erect and sparsely to somewhat hairy. Of the other Rudbeckias found in Wisconsin, Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) has no pappus and is more hairy, with hairs more stiff and dense, and wider mid-cauline leaves with a winged petiole; Brown-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia triloba) and Sweet Coneflower Rudbeckia subtomentosa) have red or deep-purple disks and the bigger leaves are 3-lobed; Tall Coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata) has glabrous stems and deeply lobed or compound lower leaves and a yellowish disk.
  • Flower characteristics: Flower head is usually on a long peduncle, and up to 4 cm wide. Ray florets are yellow or orange and number 8 to 21; the disk is 10 to 18 mm wide and brown or purple-red. Receptacular bracts are smooth, rarely with cilia on the margins or appressed hairs on the backs. The pappus is a low crown and inconspicuous.
  • Fruit characteristics: Glabrous achenes
  • Leaf characteristics: Lower leaves are lanceolate to cordate with a long petiole, other leaves similar but gradually getting smaller, with shorter petioles or becoming sessile.


  • Blooming phenology: July through September
  • Fruiting phenology:
  • Optimum time to identify: The optimal identification period for this species is July through September


  • Growth form: Forb-herb
  • Vegetative reproduction: Often stoloniferous
  • Life cycle: Perennial
  • Comments:

State status

Status and Natural Heritage Inventory documented occurrences in Wisconsin

Orange Coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida) is on the "watch list." Watch list species have experienced, or are believed to have experienced, a statewide or range wide decline, but they are not currently tracked in the Natural Heritage Inventory (NHI) database. The watch list includes newly discovered species for which origin and rarity need to be determined, certain animals designated as Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) in the Wisconsin Wildlife Action Plan, and species that were tracked in the past but proved more abundant, widespread or less vulnerable than previously thought. Although watch list species are not actively tracked by NHI, occurrences documented during surveys are often stored by NHI, as these species could be tracked in the future if there is further evidence of their decline.

Summary Information
State Statusnone
Federal Status in Wisconsinnone
State RankSU
Global RankG5
Tracked by NHIW

Habitats and landscapes

The Natural Heritage Inventory has developed scores indicating the degree to which each of Wisconsin's rare plant species is associated with a particular natural community or ecological landscape. This information is similar to that found in the Wildlife Action Plan for animals. As this is a work in progress, we welcome your suggestions and feedback.

General habitat information

  • Habitat description: Found in woods, meadows, swamps, or other mesic areas, with full or partial sun.
  • Soils: loamy or calcareous soil

Natural communities

This table lists the natural communities that are associated with Orange Coneflower. Scores for natural community associations are: "significant" association (score=3), "moderate association" (score=2) or the species can be present but is only weakly associated with the community (score=1).

Natural communities score

Ecological landscapes

This table lists the ecological landscape association scores for Orange Coneflower. The scores (3=High, 2=Moderate, 1=Low, 0=None) also correspond to the map.

Map of the Ecological Landscapes of Wisconsin.

Ecological landscape score

Species guidance

The Endangered Resources Program has developed avoidance measures and management guidelines for plants on the Natural Heritage Working List. These are a work in progress, and we welcome your suggestions and feedback. Sources used in developing this information can be found here.

Avoidance measures

These are specific actions designed to avoid "take" (mortality) of this species.

  • No avoidance measures have been developed for this species.

Management guidance

Management guidelines are additional considerations that may help maintain or enhance habitat for this species

  • No guidance has been developed for this species.


Orange Coneflower Photo.

Photo © JC Schou.

Support for Wisconsin's rare plant information has been provided by the Division of Forestry, the Endangered Resources Fund and the Wisconsin Rare Plant Preservation Fund. To donate, visit the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin [exit DNR].

Last revised: Wednesday, May 05, 2021
Southwest Savanna Southern Lake Michigan Coastal Western Coulees and Ridges Southeast Glacial Plains Central Sand Hills Central Lake Michigan Coastal Central Sand Plains Northern Lake Michigan Coastal Northern Lake Michigan Coastal Northeast Sands Western Prairie North Central Forest Northern Highlands Northwest Lowlands Northwest Sands Northwest Lowlands Superior Coastal Plains Forest Transition