Linnaeus first descriped Rudbeckia laciniata in Species Plantarum in 1753. In 1884, Asa Gray described variety humilis in Synoptical Flora of North America, and var. heterophylla was added by M.L. Fernald and B.G. Schubert in Rhodora in 1948. Shortly thereafter, Cronquist described var. ampla in Vascular Plants of the Northwest, in 1955. Finally, Robert E. Perdue, Jr. added the last variety, var. bipinnata, in an article in Rhodora in 1962. Thus, the five varieties of R. laciniata are ampla, the Rocky Mountain cutleaf coneflower, bipinnata, the Northeastern cutleaf coneflower, humilis, the Southeastern cutleaf coneflower, heterophylla, the Florida coneflower, and laciniata.