Getting To Know Rudbeckia Black Beauty - January 2024

I was nosing around on a bulb and seed site recently and came across a new (to me) perennial:  Rudbeckia Black Beauty.  Rudbeckia is something that I've heard (and seen) from Roy Diblik on YouTube and at his nursery (Northwind Perennial Farm) in Wisconsin.  But, this particular variety is something that I don't think I've come across.  Visually, it is quite different (at least to me - the novice when it comes to Rudbeckias).  Check out the photo below of Rudbeckia Black Beauty from DutchGrown.com:  

Black Beauty Rudbeckia - Via Roy Diblik

Photo Source - Dutch Grown dot com.  This is *not* my photo.  

What does that photo show?  For me...it shows a lack of petals.  This looks (to me) to be a flower that has already bloomed and drop all of its petals, doesn't it?   But that's not what is going on here; rather this is a (dare I say) unique coneflower that doesn't have any petals.  

From Heritage Perennials comes this description:

This is an unusual and bizarre selection of Coneflower, the flower heads or cones are chocolate-black with yellow stamens, but lacking the usual showy petals. Later, the heads dry, remaining effective well into the winter. Excellent for cutting, fresh or dried. Especially effective when mass planted, or in used mixed containers. Combines beautifully with fall-blooming ornamental grasses. Plants may be easily divided in early spring. Attracts plenty of comment in the garden!
I said "unique", they say "unusual and bizarre".  Everything else in that description is just perfect, isn't it?  

Excellent for cutting.  
Effective when mass planted.
Combines with fall-blooming grasses.
Can be divided in Spring.
Attracts plenty of comments.

I haven't come across these at a nursery, but now they're on my 'want list'.  

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