Growth and reproduction
R. fulgida spreads by both stoloniferous stems and seed. The seeds are produced in fruits called cypselae, which are 2.2 to 4 mm long and have short coroniform pappi, 0.2 mm long.  The ripe seed is a favorite food of finches in winter.
Stems are hairy, ridged, and dark green. Leaves are dark green, sparsely but roughly haired, simple, with sparsely serrate margins. Flowers are heads, with black disk florets and bright orange ray florets, borne singly on stems that extend above the foliage. Stems are glabrous or moderately covered in hirsute hairs with spreading branches. The leaves have blades that are lanceolate to broadly ovate or elliptic in shape without lobes. The leaf bases are attenuate to cordate in shape and the margins of the leaves are usually entire or serrate, or sometimes lacerate. The upper surfaces of the leaves are glabrous or have hirsute to strigose hairs. The basal leaves are petiolate, with petioles that are 5 to 30 cm long and 1 to 8 cm wide, the cauline or stem leaves have petioles that are 2 to 25 cm long and 0.5 to 7 cm wide, the bases are attenuate to cordate or auriculate in shape.
The flower heads are often produced one per stem but are also often produced in corymbiform arrays with 2 to 7 flowers per stem. The cups that hold the flowers called receptacles, are hemispheric to ovoid in shape with paleae 2.5 to 4 mm long, the apices are obtuse to acute in shape with the ends usually glabrous and the apical margins ciliate. The flower heads have 10 to 15 ray florets with laminae elliptic to oblanceolate in shape and 15–25 cm long and 3 to 6 mm wide. The abaxially surfaces of the laminae have strigose hairs. The flower discs or center cones are 12 to 16 mm tall and 10 to 18 mm wide, made up of 50 to over 500 disc florets, with the corollas proximally yellowish green and brown-purple distally in color, 3 to 4.2 mm long, having style branches 1.3 mm long.
Fulgida means ‘flashing' or 'glowing', and is derived from 'fulgidus', meaning 'brightly colored’.
There are seven varieties;
- R. fulgida var. deamii (S. F. Blake) Perdue - Deam's coneflower
- R. fulgida var. fulgida Aiton - orange coneflower
- R. fulgida var. palustris (Eggert ex C.L. Boynt. & Beadle) Perdue - orange coneflower, prairie coneflower
- R. fulgida var. spathulata (Michx.) Perdue - orange coneflower
- R. fulgida var. speciosa (Wender.) Perdue - orange coneflower
- R. fulgida var. sullivantii (C.L. Boynt. & Beadle) Cronquist - Sullivant's coneflower
- R. fulgida var. umbrosa (C.L. Boynt. & Beadle) Cronquist - orange coneflower
- 'Goldsturm' - 10–12 weeks at 40 °F 
- 'Little Goldstar' - 10 weeks below 40 °F 
- 'Pot of Gold' - 10 weeks at 35-41 °F 
|Wikiversity has bloom time data for Rudbeckia fulgida on the Bloom Clock|
- "Rudbeckia fulgida". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
- "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-01-25. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
- Rudbeckia fulgida in Flora of North America @ efloras.org
- Gledhill, David (2008). "The Names of Plants". Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521866453 (hardback), ISBN 9780521685535 (paperback). pp 172, 335
- ITIS Report: Rudbeckia fulgida Aiton
- "RHS Plant Selector - Rudbeckia fulgida var. 'deamii'". Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- "RHS Plant Selector - Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii 'Goldsturm'". Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- "Rudbeckia fulgida, Goldsturm, Perennial | Benary". www.benary.com. Retrieved 2016-12-27.
- "Jelitto Perennial Seed | RUDBECKIA fulgida var. sullivantii 'Goldsturm' Portion(s)". www.jelitto.com. Retrieved 2016-12-27.
- "Perennial Solutions: Rudbeckia 'Little Goldstar' – Greenhouse Product News". www.gpnmag.com. Retrieved 2016-12-27.
- "Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii 'Little Goldstar' - Greenhouse Management". Greenhouse Management. Retrieved 2016-12-27.
- "Rudbeckia fulgida 'Pot Of Gold' – Greenhouse Product News". www.gpnmag.com. Retrieved 2016-12-27.