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Home & Lifestyle > Gardening > Plants Info

Black-eyed Susan

Rudbeckia hirta (common names :Black-eyed Susan, Blackiehead, Brown Betty, Brown Daisy, Brown-eyed Susan, Gloriosa Daisy, Golden Jerusalem, Poorland Daisy, Yellow Daisy, Yellow Ox-eye Daisy) is a flowering plant in the family Asteraceae. It is an upright annual (sometimes biennial or perennial) native to most of North America, and is one of a number of plants with the common name Black-eyed Susan that also has purple on the side.

Black-eyed Susan - Rudbeckia hirta - Indian Summer

Identifying Black-eyed Susans:

The plant can reach a height of 1-2 m. It has alternate, mostly basal leaves 20-75 cm long, covered by coarse hair. It flowers from June to August, with inflorescences measuring 10-15 cm in diameter (up to 30 cm in some cultivars), with yellow ray florets circling a brown, domed center of disc florets.

Varieties

There are four varieties:

  • Rudbeckia hirta var. angustifolia. Southeastern United States (South Carolina to Texas).
  • Rudbeckia hirta var. floridana. Florida, endemic.
  • Rudbeckia hirta var. hirta. Northeastern United States (Maine to Alabama).
  • Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima. Widespread in most of North America (Newfoundland to British Columbia, south to Alabama and New Mexico; naturalized Washington to California).

Uses

The roots of Rudbeckia hirta have been used in a warm infusion to wash on sores and snake bites, and to make medicinal drinks for treating colds and worms in children. Ooze from the roots had been used as drops for earaches.

State Flower

Black-eyed Susan was designated the state Floral Emblem of Maryland in 1918.

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