Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Seeing Yellow - Rudbeckia

My garden is bright and sunny at the moment. The yellow from my Black-Eyed Susans lights up the flower beds, even on overcast days! Known by the botanical name of Rudbeckia, they are a wild flower in many parts of the United States. There are about 20 species, which include annuals, biennials and perennials. I started with only one tiny plant about 20 years ago. Since then I have divided it many times. My plants are growing all over the neighbourhood! My DD told me that her garden is now covered in them too. And her neighbour also has a whole garden full because of the plants which she gave her a few years ago. I don't know what I will do with all these plants next year. I guess I'll just put them into pots in early spring and set them out by the road for friends and neighbours to help themselves. This is Rudbeckia fulgida Goldsturm.

The next photo is of Rudbeckia hirta. They look very similar to the other Black-Eyed Susans, the R. fulgida Goldsturm, but this one is an annual or perhaps a biennial. It might have come to my garden from the fields and ravines around us. The flowers look the same, but the leaves are very narrow on this plant and it grows tall and lanky. The other Rudbeckia in my garden are more compact. Their leaves are rounder and the plants don't grow quite as high. The R. hirta come up all over in my garden, but the R. fulgida Goldsturm only grow in the established areas or where ever I plant them.

A few years ago I planted a couple of plants in my front garden, right by my front door. These have taken over. They are about three feet tall and blooming like crazy! They are a happy welcome to visitors to my house. These plants are often called cone flowers because of the dark centres which form a high, round centre. Goldfinches love to come to my plants and eat the seeds out of the cone-shaped centres once they have ripened.

Family: Asteraceae. Genus: Rudbeckia. Species: R. hirta and R. fulgida Goldsturm.

Common Name: Black-Eyed Susans.

1 comment:

  1. We love rudbeckia here at our place. We first found out about how well it 'spread' when we first planted it at our home in Bartlesville, OK, so we have planted it here on the plantation with hopes of dividing it to other places in the garden. Thanks for featuring these beautiful Black Eyed Susans.