Black-eyed Susan is a bright, cheerful wildflower found throughout Florida. Its compound flower head consists of many long yellow ray flowers surrounding a core of dark purple to brown disk flowers. Each solitary flower head is born on a rough, erect stem that emerges from a basal rosette of bristly leaves. Leaves along the stem are alternately arranged, with toothed margins and rough surfaces. Seeds are tiny black achenes. Depending on the conditions, black-eyed Susan can perform as a short-lived perennial, biennial or annual.
|Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) in mixed wildflower garden. |
Photo by Andrea England.
Family: Asteraceae (Aster or Composite family)
Native range: Nearly throughout Florida
Hardiness: Zones 7–10
Soil: Rich, well-drained soils
Exposure: Full sun to minimal shade
Growth habit: 1-3' tall with 1-2' spread
Garden tips: Black-eyed Susans are easy to grow and maintain. They spread by way of abundant self-sown seed. They are adaptable to both dry and moist sites, but flower best with regular moisture. They are excellent for mixed wildflower gardens, and disturbed areas such as roadsides and medians.
|Blackeyed susan (Rudbeckia hirta) and starrush whitetop |
(Rhynchospora colorata) along Florida's turnpike.
Photo by Jeff Norcini.
Black-eyed Susan seeds are available from the Florida Wildflower Cooperative.
Plants are often available at nurseries that specialize in native plants.Visit PlantRealFlorida.org to find a native nursery on your area.
To see where powderpuff occurs naturally, visit www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=2286.