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black eyed susans, black eye susans,(rudbeckia sp.)

Black-eyed Susans

rudbeckia fulgida, picture by Anita
  • Native  
  • Perennial, biennial  
  • Bloom:  Summer
  • Propagation:  Seed

Here's a meadow full of black-eyed susans! "Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm'" (perennial)

gloriosa-daisy Black eyed susans come in a lot of different varieties, there's the gloriosa daisy "Rudbeckia hirta" ( pictured at right) which has reds and doubles...but is a biennial.... Dead head at your peril, must set seed for next years flowers!

Rudbeckia "goldsturm" (pictured above) spreads by underground stolons ... like mint. There's also a lot of "wild" varieties which I've collected, finding them in my own property as well as the property of my clients. I've found several different native varieties growing wild in just a few miles of each other. I had 7 different kinds of blackeye susans collected in my Jeffersonville Georgia garden before having to start over in a new location.

I brought in the blackeye susan seed for this patch of colour from another one of my gardens that I was asked to tidy up. Normally I suggest don't deadhead the flowers. Goldfinches love rudbeckia seeds. When we tidy up the garden by deadheading, we rob our bird friends of a meal! We don't get to enjoy their presence if we don't attract them.

Black eyed susans provide excellent winter interest with their seed heads intact. I've done side by side comparison tests as to whether there actually is more flowers if deadheading is done. In my garden, deadheading [anything] resulted in less flowers. It also looks tacky. What you do in your garden is up to you, but I think the entire deadheading business was a plot foisted off on the public as a way to sell more plants.