Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia hirta

Black-eyed Susan

Rudbeckia hirta

Benefits:
Sun Shade:
Bloom Time: Summer
Zones: 3, 4, 5
Soil Conditions: Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil Moisture: Moist, Dry, Medium
Color: Yellow
Fragrance: No
Height: 1 - 3 feet
Spacing: 1 foot


Description

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) occurs in open woods, prairies, fields, roadsides and waste areas. It is a coarse, hairy, somewhat weedy plant that features daisy-like flowers (to 3 inches across) with bright yellow to orange-yellow rays and domed, dark chocolate-brown center disks. Blooms throughout the summer atop stiff, leafy, upright stems growing 1-3’ tall. Rough, hairy, lance-shaped leaves (3-7 inches long). Plants of this species are sometimes commonly called gloriosa daisy, particularly the larger-flowered cultivars that come in shades of red, yellow, bronze, orange and bi-colors.

Biennial or short-lived perennial that blooms in the first year from seed planted in early spring, and is accordingly often grown as an annual. It is easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Best in moist, organically rich soils. Tolerates heat, drought and a wide range of soils except poorly-drained wet ones. Deadhead spend flowers to encourage additional bloom and/or to prevent any unwanted self-seeding. Whether or not plants survive from one year to the next, they freely self-seed and will usually remain in the garden through self-seeding.

In natural habitats, Black-eyed Susan occurs in mesic to dry prairies, mesic to dry upland forests, particularly in open rocky areas, as well as savannas and limestone glades. In developed areas, it can be found in pastures and abandoned fields, areas along railroads and roadsides, on eroded clay slopes, and miscellaneous waste areas. Black-Eyed Susan colonizes disturbed areas readily, and recovers moderately well from fires.

Plant Notes and Herbal Uses
  Susceptible to powdery mildew.
  Watch for slugs and snails on young plants.
  Can self-seed freely.
  Deer tend to avoid this plant.
  Native Indians used root tea for worms, colds.
  Native Americans used as external wash for sores, snakebites, swelling.
  Native Americans used root juice for earaches.
Further Information

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