Latin Name: Rudbeckia hirta

Family: Asteraceae

Genus:  Rudbeckia

Facts about Black-Eyed-Susan:

  • Black Eyed Susan is a member of the sunflower family (Asteraceae) and has similar daisy-like flowers.

  • They are biennials or short-lived perennials.

  • Size: Height: - 30 to 90 cm, Spread: 40 cm

  • Looks Like:

    • Leaf:  Oblong to lance shape shaped leaves that are green and somewhat roughly textured.

    • Bloom Time: June to October

    • Bloom Description:  Bright yellow flower with dark brown center on tall stalk.  Flower sizes are approximately 7 cm.

    • Fruit and seeds: Fruit of black-eyed Susan is brown achene (type of dry fruit). Black-eyed Susan produces numerous small black seeds in the center (black eye) of the flower.

  • Habitat:

    • Light Requirement:  Full sun to light shade

    • Soil Moisture:  Drought tolerant

    • Soil Description: Sand to clay soil 

Biodiversity Benefits:  

  • Black-eyed Susan represents important source of food and shelter for many insects, birds, and, animals.

  • Goldfinches sparrows, cardinals, nuthatches, and chickadees, are frequent birds eating the seeds. Sole host plant for Silvery Checkerspot butterfly.

  • Other frequent butterflies Great Spangled Fritillary, and American Snout.

Historical Use:

  • Black-Eyed-Susan was traditionally used by Indigenous people for its medicinal properties. Medicinal properties were originally used to treat colds, flues, infections and swellings.

  • Black-Eyed-Susan is known to have nutritional value but its commonly advised against consumption due to other parts of the plant being slightly toxic.

How to plant Black-Eyed-Susan:

  1. Fall seed planting:

    When: Mid September or early October (roughly six weeks before first frost)

  2. Sow directly in the garden by sow seeds directly on soil. Sow approximately six seeds per square foot and cover them very lightly (maybe with a 1/4 layer of soil).  

  3. You can also simply scatter seeds on ground without any soil cover. Not all seeds germinate the first year, which is why you need to sow so thickly.

 Pro Tip: Seeds need light to germinate. Plant very shallow