Rudbeckia hirta, Black-eyed Susan

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Although a number of plants share the common name Black-eyed Susan, it is Rudbeckia hirta, which was designated the “Floral Emblem” of Maryland in 1918. This familiar, cherished flower is at home in private gardens as it is in wildflower meadows or prairie restorations.

Print Version: Rudbeckia hirta, Black-eyed SusanRudbeckia hirta, Black-eyed Susan Perennial Height: 1–31⁄2 feet Spread: 1–2 feet Bloom Color: Yellow with black or brown eye Characteristics Short-lived, clump-forming perennial (biennial) Develops first as oblong-leaved rosette Long white hairs on rigid, upright stems and small stiff hairs covering 3–7 inch long, lance-shaped leaves distinguish it from other Rudbeckia spp. Daisy-like composite flowers, 2–4 inches wide, with yellow rays and brown/black dome-shaped disc, bloom from June to October, sometimes only in the second year after which the plant dies Freely self-seeds and easily established Attributes Tolerates heat, drought, clay soil; dislikes poorly- drained, wet soils No serious pests or diseases though susceptible to powdery mildew; deer seldom severely damage Attracts bees, wasps, syrphid flies, butterflies to flowers and birds, especially goldfinches, to the seeds; larval host to Silvery Checkerspot Growing and Maintenance Tips Soil Requirements: Average, well-drained Light Requirements: Sun, Partial Shade Water Requirements: Dry, Moist Deadhead spent flowers to encourage re-bloom or to prevent self-seeding Use as mass plantings, in borders & annual beds Excellent Replacement for Leucanthemum species - Ox-Eye & Shasta Daisies Tanacetum species - Tansy*It is native in DC and MD, adventive in DE, and scattered about PA, but mostly concentrated in the western part of the state. It is common throughout VA. Hardiness: USDA Zones 3–7

Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets