430 Ecotype Affects Growth and Flowering of Rudbeckia hirta L.

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  • 1University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, North Florida Research and Education Center, Monticello, FL 32344; 2University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, West Florida Research and Education Center, Milton, FL 32572; 3University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314;4 SePro Corporation, Carmel, IN 46302;5 University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Bradenton, FL 34203

Evidence is presented that native populations of Rudbeckia hirta L. (Blackeyed Susan) may be adapted to regional conditions. Two Florida ecotypes, one from north Florida (NFL) and one from central Florida (CFL), were better able to withstand the low fertility sites under three AHS Heat Zones (9, 10, 11) in Florida than were plants grown from Texas (TEX) seeds. Plants from TEX seed were the largest and showiest (generally the greatest number of flowers; largest flowers) but the shortest-lived. Most of these plants did not survive beyond August (about 6 months after transplanting) regardless of site. The CFL plants were especially tolerant of flooding conditions at Ft. Lauderdale. Under garden conditions, CFL Black-eyed Susan may be a highly desirable wildflower for subtropical or tropical summers.

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