Rudbeckia subtomentosa
Sweet coneflower
Image of Rudbeckia subtomentosa

Photo by Michael Nee 

Key Characteristics

Tall forb; stems densely pubescent, bearing alternate leaves deeply 3-lobed; flower sunflower-like, with yellow rays and a dark reddish-purple disk; chaff of the receptacle rounded and glandular-pubescent at the tip.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: X
  • State Rank: SX
  • Global Rank: G5


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Distribution map for Rudbeckia subtomentosa

Updated 5/15/2018. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


Although Michigan's sole collection from 1894 is noted as being collected in a "swamp" near Alma, the noted locale on the specimen is considered suspicious. Elsewhere, just outside southwest Michigan, this species occurs on the edges of moist open woods and thickets adjacent to prairies. It also occurs in sandy prairies and in bottomlands of the Kankakee River. The species is also occasionally used in grassland plantings.

Natural Community Types


For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Associated Plants

No associates have been documented for Michigan. Associates elsewhere include New England aster, tall coreopsis, bottle gentian, blazing star, rosin weed, Riddell's goldenrod, seedbox, big bluestem, downy sunflower, stiff goldenrod, short-fruited rush, mountain mint, black-eyed Susan, tall nut-rush, and common spiderwort.


The primary need for this species is a status survey in the vicinity of the former collection. However, this species is more likely to be found in southwest Michigan, and thus could be sought within prairie remnants there.

General Survey Guidelines

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgment of the investigator.

Survey Methods

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at [Accessed Jul 20, 2018]


Survey References

Technical References

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