Rudbeckia maxima (giant coneflower, Mexican sombrero, Mexican Hats) another beautiful native wildflower that is beautiful in a sunny yard.Â I LOVE this plant!Â If you never see them blooming on the roadsides, come to our IDEA Garden and have a look at ours.Â Up the hill in the southern end, you will see this beauty blooming for all its worth.Â There are hundreds blooming along I-20 on the way to Dallas too, Â and they are magnificent.
Mexican hats (what I have always heard them called) is a lovely plant all year.Â In winter, the clump of evergreen leaves take on a bluish tint and look wonderful growing in a perennial bed.Â They remind me of mulesâ€™ ears, large.Â The clump never gets over eighteen inches or so high.Â Then in June, here come the tall (up to 5 ft. or more) flower stems topped by a huge yellow daisy-like flower with a large very significant black center.Â After the flowers fade, the â€˜conesâ€™ or centers look great on their own for a while. As years pass, the clumps will grow larger, but if you deadhead (cut off the old flower heads) before the seeds fall, they will not become invasive.Â Unless you have a very moist yard, they wonâ€™t be invasive anyway and you will have seedlings to share.
Many gardeners shy away from tall flowers, but Mexican hats arenâ€™t really that tall, just when blooming are they tall.Â After all, with flowers like that, they want everyone to see, and I am glad.Â The large flowers stand tall, but airy, and you can see other plants through them, a very lovely sight.
Mexican hats are easy.Â Just give them plenty of sun.Â They will also grow in poorly drained soil or good garden soil.Â If you have a sunny place to give them, I suggest you get some.Â You wonâ€™t be sorry.