Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta) are native to North America and one of the most popular wildflowers grown. They tend to blanket open fields, often surprising the passerby with their golden-yellow beauty.
Members of the aster family, Asteraceae, the “black eye” is named for the dark, brown-purple centers of its daisy-like flower heads. The plants can grow to over 3 feet tall, with leaves of 6 inches, stalks over 8 inches long, and flowers with a diameter of 2 to 3 inches.
Butterflies, bees, and a variety of insects are attracted to the flowers for the nectar. As they drink the nectar, they move pollen from one plant to another, causing it to grow fruits and seeds that can move about easily with the wind.
These plants bloom from June to October. Note that they can be territorial in that they tend to squash out other flowers growing near them.
Black-eyed Susans are good for cut flowers; they also work well for borders or in containers.