Monday, June 16, 2014

Rudiments of Rudbeckia hirta

Black eyed Susans are native plants in many states; naturalized in most all the rest and parts of Canada. Biennial, sometimes short lived perennial. In my garden they have a glorious show in June and July and die out in August. I pull them, leaving the seeds for birds and to reseed which they freely do. I start seeing plants during late winter, usually in the grassy paths but enough make the flower beds to make a show by June.

Rudbeckia hirta attracts pollinators and butterflies.

Most of the time the blooms are solid yellow with a single row of ray flowers. Did I mention they are a member of the Aster family?

I noticed these in the Upper Garden that have an extra little row of ray flowers.

Last year we had some with strappy ray flowers:

and some with a mahogany brushstroke:

I look forward to the ones that are different but I don't save seeds to try to 'improve' the lot.

Madagascar Periwinkles are coming up now where I pulled back the mulch and gently stirred the soil to encourage reseeders. Rudbeckia will be a big show of yellow for two months and then everything changes when I pull the Susans and Periwinkles take over in pink and purple in time for the purple haze of fall.


  1. Can you tell me why you pull up your rudbeckia?

  2. Aesthetics. Rudbeckia DIES in heat and humidity here after a couple of months' bloom. I pull huge dead plants to make room for fresh green blooming plants like Melampodium and Periwinkle that will last from July until frost in a bed that faces the highway.

  3. Rudies don't die back here. I have to pull out hands full because they reproduce so well. I always have some popping up late summer. I love the way they fill the garden with that splash of bright yellow. So cheerful.

  4. I associate Rudbeckias with back to school time as they are late summer bloomers here. I'm always a bit sad to see them in the nurseries because their presence signals the end of my carefree days in the garden and time to get back to work.

  5. Hi NellJean, they are lovely but i remember gaillardia when i see those. I still have remaining 2 plants still struggling with our dry and hot climate.

    And you should see my new garden plants that i am now nurturing to fit our climate, they don't disappoint me!

  6. Rudbeckias don't die back here until frost or they haven't in the past. This has been a very strange year weather wise so I don't know what will happen this year.

    I love all the different varieties you have which is one of the reasons I love self-seeders. I never know what glorious wonder will appear.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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