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Rudbeckia hirta

Common Name(s):
Black-eyed Susan, Gloriosa daisy
'Sonara', 'Indian Summer'
Annuals, Herbs, Perennials, Wildflowers

Black-Eyed Susan is a stiff, upright annual or short lived native to the eastern United States, but has become endemic throughout North America. In NC it grows as a biennial that may grow to 4 feet tall. The leaves are alternate with toothed or almost a smooth margin. Some leaves may have 3 or more lobes. The characteristic brown, domed center is surrounded by bright yellow ray florets (sometimes orange) which first mature in mid summer and continue into mid fall. This is a true sunshine worshipper that forgives neglect and has moderate drought tolerance.The trick to growing black-eyed Susan is to give it full sun in decent soil. Moderate fertility will give you the best flower show so avoid the edges of lawns where lawn fertilizer will provide excess nitrogen.

Regions: Mountains, Piedmont, Coastal Plain

Seasons of Interest: 

     Bloom: Summer, fall; Fruit/Nut/Seed: Summer, fall

Wildlife Value: Black-Eyed Susans are moderately deer resistant. Butterflies nectar at the flowers. Songbirds, especially American goldfinches, eat the seeds in the fall. 

Summer, fall
Sun to partial shade
Orange; red; yellow
2-3 ft.
8 to 10 in.
USDA Zones 3-7
2 to 7 in. lance-shaped leaves with untoothed or indistinctly toothed margins; lower leaves are larger and taper into long stalks; simple or limited-branching stem; roughish hairy plant
2 to 4 in. flower head with 10 to 20 bright orange-yellow rays; dark purplish brown egg-shaped disk
Average, well-drained soil; sun to partial shade; found in fields and along banks and roadsides
Moist, dry
Life Cycle:
Annual, biennial or perennial
wildflower, cpp, annual, summer, apvg, highly beneficial coastal plants, drought tolerant, drought, yellow, sun, biennial, perennial, oragne, red, fall, partial shade

NCCES plant id: 130

Rudbeckia hirta Flower
Rudbeckia hirta Form
Matt Lavin, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Rudbeckia hirta Flowers in a field.
Tim, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0
Rudbeckia hirta Flowers
Graham C57, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0
Rudbeckia hirta Flower bud
Joshua Mayer, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Rudbeckia hirta Sepals
Matt Lavin, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Rudbeckia hirta Flower cross section showing the disk flowers.
Matt Lavin, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Rudbeckia hirta Rudbeckia hirta bloom detail
Debbie Roos
Rudbeckia hirta R. hirta 'Cherry Brandy'
Debbie Roos