Rudbeckia laciniata, or Cutleaf Coneflower, is a perennial plant native to Michigan and the UP. It has a variety of common names, from the elegant Wild Golden Glow, more descriptive Cutleaf or Green-headed Coneflower, to endearing Outhouse Weed. It can reach an impressive 7 feet in height, forming dense rhizomatic clusters with a tremendous show of yellow blooms all summer into fall, living up to the name of golden glow*. This plant spreads vigorously and may not be suited to small spaces, but it is stunning, makes a good privacy screen (hide that outhouse), and is recognized as a keystone plant species to support wild birds. Add its popularity with pollinators and resistance to deer and this plant is worth the space. Note that it is most enthusiastic in moist soil. A number of people have told me that in regular garden soil, they have no trouble keeping it in check.
Cutleaf Coneflower is versatile. It favors partial sun, with a few trees around, but does well in full sun with adequate moisture, and can even tolerate shade. It prefers medium wet to medium soil. Its natural habitat is moist soils in rich woodlands, thickets, near streams, ditches or other wet areas. It grows well in average, medium, well drained soil as well, though it may not reach as tall. Ours are UP genotype from colonies in several UP counties.
A rosette of leaves that originate at the base of the stem persists through the winter, creating an attractive winter ground cover. Coneflowers host the larvae of Checkerspot butterflies and a variety of moths and other beneficial insects.
*Note that there is a cultivar sold by the name of Golden Glow. It has an altered flower structure and is unlikely to provide the same resources for pollinators or birds as this straight native species.