2-3 in. flowers atop 1-2 ft. stems
Fields, meadows and roadsides
Found throughout the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Can be annual, biennial or perennial
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 prefer full sun, and are often the first plant to appear in newly disturbed fields.
- When cut, black-eyed Susans can live in a vase for six to 10 days.
- Black-eyed Susans are Maryland’s state flower.
Sources and Additional Information
- PLANTS Profile for Rudbeckia hirta – USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: Rudbeckia hirta – The University of Texas at Austin
- PlantFiles: Black-eyed Susan – Dave’s Garden
- Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping: Chesapeake Bay Watershed – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service