A Gardener’s Delight: The Sultry and Bright Black Eyed Susan
Black-Eyed Susan might be mistaken for sunflower or a daisy. A closer look shows the pretty, yellow eyelashes frame a soulful brown eye with purple highlights in its midst. She’s in a class of her own. Sometimes called brown betty or poor-land daisy the plant is famous for its glorious, golden beauty and attracting a bevy of bees and butterflies to her abundant nectar.
She is more than a pretty face. The Black-Eyed Susan is a traditional, medicinal wildflower native to the North American state of Maryland.
The edible parts of the plant are used in poultices and as a folk remedy for viral illnesses (colds, flu). Its Latin name is Rudbeckia hirta after the Swedish family Rudbecks and is said to be at least three centuries old. Its photographic likeness is the famous Tiffany lamp, and the live flower is used for prestigious ceremonial decoration.
Black Eyed Susans grow up to 3 feet tall and bloom up to 18″ in diameter. Although usually found in a sunny open field, the plant can flourish in low light. Plant the seeds under loose, well-drained soil in March to May and expect a new growth by mid-year to September. Keep the ground moist.
Botanical Latin Name: Rudbeckia hirta
Common Name: Black-eyed Susan
Sun Exposure: Direct Sun, Part Sun
Hardiness Zones: 3-9
Mature Height: 2-3 ft.
Spread 12-18 in.
Spacing: 18-24 in.
Growth Rate: Moderate
Flowering Time: Mid-season
How Long It Flowers: June-October
Flower Color: Yellow
Soil Requirements: Plant in well-drained soil. Any condition is acceptable as long as the ground has time to dry between watering.
Pruning: Deadhead faded or wilted flowers. If you want a shorter growth, cut the stem about 5 in. Down from the petals during the middle of their flowering season.
Flower Form: This is a type of coneflower, whose 8-20 yellow to orange petals point downward and out from its high center. These summery flowers, with brown to black cone centers, are held up by rigid, hairy green stems. Oval green leaves with prominent veins moderately cover the height of the stem, holding a single flower head. The leaves vary in size, are usually slender, and also have small hairs upon them. Their nectar and seeds attract birds, butterflies, bees and other wildlife. They often take over areas where they begin to grow and are found in colonies, mainly when grown in the wild.
USDA Climate Zone:3-9
Tree Height:12-14 Inches
Canopy Spread:12-18 Inches
Soil Type: Adaptable to various soils
Sun: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Ships As – Bareroot Plant
The Black Eyed Susan grows in the Wild.