Most parts of the U.S. have a variety or two of coneflower that is native to the area. Propagation of these long-flowering plants is as simple as caring for their cultural needs.
Coneflower is the common name given to a group of biennials and perennials that share common characteristics: lancifoliate leaves, 1- to 5-foot tall plants and flowers with daisy-like petals circling a pronounced central dome of florets. Flower colors may be white or shades of yellow, orange, red, purple or pink.
These rudbeckia may be called black-eyed Susan or sweet coneflower.
Coneflowers are all members of the aster family but belong to one of three genera: Echinacea, Ratibida or Rudbeckia. Rudbeckia coneflowers may also be known as brown- or black-eyed Susans.
All coneflowers reproduce naturally from seed that ripens in their large central seed heads. New plants grow next to the parent after seeds fall in autumn. Plants from seeds of hybrid varieties may revert to parental varieties.
Coneflowers grow fleshy crowns that can be divided after several years of growth and flowering. Crowns divide into several sections that will produce flowers within a year or two. Crown cuttings always reproduce parent plants exactly.
Seeds from hybrids may grow into "throwback" plants.
Considering the ease with which coneflowers re-seed themselves, crown division should be reserved for hybrid cultivars.