Black-eyed Susan

Rudbeckia hirta

James L. Reveal, Norton-Brown Herbarium, University of Maryland

Black-eyed Susans are flowering plants that grow over three feet tall. They have green leaves up to six inches long.

Black-eyed Susans grow in open woods, gardens, fields, and roadsides. They grow quickly in just about any kind of soil.

These plants are most easily recognized by their flowers. They have yellow flowers with a brownish-purple center. Flowers are two to three inches across and grow on a stalk up to eight inches long.

Black-eyed Susans are very competitive and can push other plants out of an area.

Smithsonian Institution

USDA, NRCS/PLANTS

Copyright, University of Illinois at Springfield

Black-eyed Susans are biennial, which means they live for two years. In the first year, the plant grows a rosette, which is a group of leaves growing from the center, low to the ground. In the second year, the plant sends up flower stalks. At the end of the second year, the plant dies.

Butterflies, bees, flies, and other insects visit flowers for nectar. When they drink nectar, they accidentally move pollen from one plant to another. This allows the plant to grow fruits and seeds, which are lightweight and travel by wind.

Black-eyed Susans bloom from June to October.

Robert R. Kowal, Wisconsin State Herbarium

Black-eyed Susans are a pioneer plant. That means they are one of the first plants to grow in a new field. For instance, if a fire burns down part of a forest, this plant will be one of the first to start growing.

Other plants that often grow near Black-eyed Susans include: Red Maple, Eastern White Pine, Eastern Redcedar, White Oak, Black Oak, American Beech, Silver Maple, American Elm, Virginia Pine, Loblolly Pine, Goldenrod, sedges, and Bracken Fern.

Snails, slugs, and aphids eat the leaves of this plant. Rabbits and deer eat the entire plant.

Some species of fungi grow on the roots of Black-eyed Susan. The fungi pull nutrients from the roots and, at the same time, pass nutrients to the plant from the soil.

Relationships in Nature:

Animals Using as Food Source

Animals Using as Shelter

Associations With Other Plants

OTHER

Honey Bee

Leopard Slug

Goldenrod

Honey Bee Po

White-tailed Deer

Garden Centipede

Common Milkweed

Clouded Sulphur Po

Leopard Slug

Isopod

Red Maple

Golden Northern Bumble Bee Po

Eastern Cottontail

Black Carpenter Ant

Eastern White Pine

Painted Lady Po Pa

Clouded Sulphur

Common Black Ground Beetle

White Oak

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Po

Golden Northern Bumble Bee

American Dog Tick

Black Oak

Cabbage White Po

Eastern Black Swallowtail

Goldenrod Spider

Eastern Redcedar

Eastern Black Swallowtail Po

Painted Lady

Green Lacewing

Loblolly Pine

Green Lacewing Po FP

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

European Starling

American Elm

Buffalo Treehopper Pa

Differential Grasshopper

Buffalo Treehopper

Silver Maple

Organ-pipe Mud Dauber Po

Black Carpenter Ant

Chigger

Bracken Fern

Cabbage White

Tussock Sedge

Green Stinkbug

Queen Anne's Lace

Hummingbird Moth

English Plantain

Green Lacewing

Common Dandelion

Buffalo Treehopper

Virginia Pine

Organ-pipe Mud Dauber

American Beech

Pokeweed

Chicory

Relationship to Humans:

Black-eyed Susans are considered beautiful plants and many people include them in their gardens. They are also help attract butterflies. Sometimes they crowd out other plants and need to be controlled.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Plant
DIVISION
Magnoliophyta
CLASS
Magnoliopsida
ORDER
Asterales
FAMILY
Asteraceae
GENUS
Rudbeckia
SPECIES
Rudbeckia hirta

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