Sunday, July 8, 2012

Black-eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) is, perhaps, our best-known prairie flower.  Native to North America, its bright yellow flowers bloom early in the summer and can continue throughout the season.

A related species of Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia fulgida, is also native to our area (and much of the eastern US).  It became a popular garden flower through an interesting path.  Rather than being directly adopted from the wild, the most popular horticultural variety "Goldsturm" crossed the Atlantic twice.   A German horticulturalist found an attractive variant in a Czech garden and developed it for commercial purposes in Germany.  From Europe, it returned to US gardens.

I'm not absolutely sure which Black-eyed Susan is in the photo.