Black-Eyed Susan

Black-Eyed SusanThis large family (Asteraceae), commonly called the Aster Family, consists of 1,314 genera and 21,000 species of herbs, shrubs, climbers and a few trees is found chiefly in temperate and subtropical regions.  The plants are of value to man as ornamentals; a few are insecticides and fish poisons. The genus Rudbeckia mean “of  Rudbeck” and refers to Professor Olaf Rudbeck, 1630-1702 and his son, Professor Olaf Rudbeck, 1660-1740, of Uppsala, Sweden.  The name “Rudbeck” means rough. In 1720 John Gay wrote the ballad “Sweet William’s Farewell to Black-ey’d Susan” which begins: All in the Downs the fleet was moor’d, The Streamers waving in the wind, When black-ey’d Susan came aboard. ‘Oh! where shall I my true love find! Tell me, ye jovial sailors, tell me true, If my sweet William sails among the Crew.”

OtherCommonName:

Yellow Daisy, Brown-Betty, Bull’s-Eye, Poor Man’s Daisy, English-Bullseye. Golden-Jerusalem

ScientificName:

Rudbeckia hirta

Community:

Edge

PlantStatus:

Native

LifeSpan:

Biennial or short-lived perennial

PlantHeight:

12 to 40 inches

FruitingTime:

Late August to November

Distribution:

Newfoundland to Florida ~ Statewide in New Jersey ~ Grows in disturbed habitats

FloweringTime:

Mid June to late October, most in July and August

IdentifyingCharacteristics:

Large flower heads, heads radiate, on stem ~ Flower petals yellow and center chocolate colored ~ Leaves hairy, simple, lower mostly elliptic others lance-linear to oblong