Black-eyed Susan

Rudbeckia hirta

Quick Facts

  • Species

    Native

  • Habitat

    Black-eyed Susan grows in fields, meadows and roadsides. It prefers full sun, and is often the first plant to appear in newly disturbed fields.

  • Range

    Found throughout the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed.

  • Lifespan

    Can be annual, biennial or perennial
  • Status

    Stable

The black-eyed Susan is a native plant with golden yellow flowers that bloom throughout the summer.

Appearance

The flower of the black-eyed Susan has bright yellow petals and a brownish-black, dome-shaped center. The flowers grow on stems with small, rough hairs and bloom in June to October. The plant's green leaves grow up to six inches in length. Black-eyed susans grow to four feet tall.

Reproduction and Life Cycle

After blooming, the flower’s dome-shaped center matures into a seed head full of small, black seeds. The plant then dies. Wind animals and other natural disturbances spread the seeds. New seedlings grow in spring.

Did You Know?

  • The black-eyed Susan gets its name from its black center, or “eye.”
  • The flowers attract birds, bees and butterflies, especially when planted in large, colorful masses.
  • Black-eyed Susans are Maryland’s state flower.
  • When cut, black-eyed Susans can live in a vase for six to 10 days. 

Sources and Additional Information

Quick Facts

  • Species

    Native

  • Habitat

    Black-eyed Susan grows in fields, meadows and roadsides. It prefers full sun, and is often the first plant to appear in newly disturbed fields.

  • Range

    Found throughout the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed.

  • Lifespan

    Can be annual, biennial or perennial
  • Status

    Stable