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Black-eyed Susan

Rudbeckia hirta

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Asteraceae (Daisy)
Also in this family:
Alpine Blue Sow-thistle, Alpine Cotula, Alpine Fleabane, Alpine Saw-wort, Annual Ragweed, Annual Sunflower, Argentine Fleabane, Autumn Hawkbit, Autumn Oxeye, Beaked Hawksbeard, Beggarticks, Bilbao Fleabane, Black Knapweed, Blanketflower, Blue Fleabane, Blue Globe-thistle, Bristly Oxtongue, Broad-leaved Cudweed, Broad-leaved Ragwort, Brown Knapweed, Butterbur, Buttonweed, Cabbage Thistle, Canadian Fleabane, Canadian Goldenrod, Carline Thistle, Chalk Knapweed, Chamois Ragwort, Changing Michaelmas Daisy, Chicory, Chinese Mugwort, Chinese Ragwort, Coltsfoot, Common Blue Sow-thistle, Common Cat's-ear, Common Cudweed, Common Daisy, Common Dandelion, Common Fleabane, Common Goldenrod, Common Groundsel, Common Michaelmas Daisy, Common Mugwort, Common Ragwort, Common Wormwood, Coneflower, Confused Michaelmas Daisy, Corn Chamomile, Corn Marigold, Cornflower, Cotton Thistle, Cottonweed, Creeping Thistle, Daisy Bush, Dwarf Cudweed, Dwarf Thistle, Early Goldenrod, Eastern Groundsel, Eastern Leopardsbane, Elecampane, English Hawkweed, Fen Ragwort, Feverfew, Field Fleawort, Field Wormwood, Fox and Cubs, French Tarragon, Gallant Soldier, Garden Lettuce, Giant Butterbur, Glabrous-headed Hawkweed, Glandular Globe-thistle, Glaucous Michaelmas Daisy, Globe Artichoke, Globe-thistle, Goat's Beard, Golden Ragwort, Golden Samphire, Goldilocks Aster, Grass-leaved Goldenrod, Great Lettuce, Greater Burdock, Greater Knapweed, Grey-headed Hawkweed, Guernsey Fleabane, Hairless Blue Sow-thistle, Hairless Leptinella, Hairy Michaelmas Daisy, Harpur Crewe's Leopardsbane, Hawkweed Oxtongue, Heath Cudweed, Heath Groundsel, Hemp Agrimony, Highland Cudweed, Hoary Mugwort, Hoary Ragwort, Hybrid Knapweed, Intermediate Burdock, Irish Fleabane, Jersey Cudweed, Jerusalem Artichoke, Lance-leaved Hawkweed, Lavender-cotton, Leafless Hawksbeard, Least Lettuce, Leopardplant, Leopardsbane, Leptinella, Lesser Burdock, Lesser Hawkbit, Lesser Sunflower, London Bur-marigold, Magellan Ragwort, Marsh Cudweed, Marsh Hawksbeard, Marsh Ragwort, Marsh Sow-thistle, Marsh Thistle, Meadow Thistle, Melancholy Thistle, Mexican Fleabane, Milk Thistle, Mountain Everlasting, Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Musk Thistle, Narrow-leaved Cudweed, Narrow-leaved Hawkweed, Narrow-leaved Michaelmas Daisy, Narrow-leaved Ragwort, New England Hawkweed, New Zealand Holly, Nipplewort, Nodding Bur-marigold, Northern Hawksbeard, Norwegian Mugwort, Oxeye Daisy, Oxford Ragwort, Pearly Everlasting, Perennial Cornflower, Perennial Ragweed, Perennial Sow-thistle, Perennial Sunflower, Pineapple Mayweed, Plantain-leaved Leopardsbane, Ploughman's Spikenard, Plymouth Thistle, Pontic Blue Sow-thistle, Pot Marigold, Prickly Lettuce, Prickly Sow-thistle, Purple Coltsfoot, Rayed Tansy, Red Star Thistle, Red-seeded Dandelion, Red-tipped Cudweed, Robin's Plantain, Roman Chamomile, Rough Cocklebur, Rough Hawkbit, Rough Hawksbeard, Russian Lettuce, Safflower, Salsify, Saw-wort, Scented Mayweed, Scentless Mayweed, Sea Aster, Sea Mayweed, Sea Wormwood, Seaside Daisy, Shaggy Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shaggy Soldier, Shasta Daisy, Shetland Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shrub Ragwort, Sicilian Chamomile, Silver Ragwort, Slender Mugwort, Slender Thistle, Small Cudweed, Small Fleabane, Smooth Cat's-ear, Smooth Hawksbeard, Smooth Sow-thistle, Sneezeweed, Sneezewort, Spear Thistle, Spotted Cat's-ear, Spotted Hawkweed, Sticky Groundsel, Stinking Chamomile, Stinking Hawksbeard, Tall Fleabane, Tall Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Tansy, Thin-leaved Sunflower, Treasureflower, Trifid Bur-marigold, Tuberous Thistle, Tyneside Leopardplant, Viper's Grass, Wall Lettuce, Welsh Groundsel, Welted Thistle, White African Daisy, White Butterbur, White Buttons, Willdenow's Leopardsbane, Winter Heliotrope, Wood Burdock, Wood Ragwort, Woody Fleabane, Woolly Thistle, Yarrow, Yellow Chamomile, Yellow Fox and Cubs, Yellow Oxeye, Yellow Star Thistle, Yellow Thistle, York Groundsel
Life Cycle:
Annual or Perennial
Maximum Size:
80 centimetres tall
Gardens, wasteland.

Yellow, many petals
The colour of the flowers are variable, however golden yellow is the usual colour. Orange, red, brown and sometimes bicoloured flowers may also be seen. The flowers are daisy-like and up to 10cm (4 inches) in diameter. 8 to 20 petals. There is a chocolate-coloured, flattened cone in the centre of the flower. The tips of the petals have a small notch in them. Pollinated by bees and hoverflies.
The fruit is seed-like (an achene). The seeds ripen from August to October.
A biennial or perennial with alternate leaves. The leaves are mainly basal leaves and toothed. They are narrow and lance-shaped, up to 18cm (9 inches) long. The leaves are covered in coarse hairs. Black-eyed Susan may be confused with the similar-looking Coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata) and Sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale).
Other Names:
Brown Betty, Brown-eyed Susan, Coneflower, English Bull's Eye, Gloriosa Daisy, Golden Jerusalem, Marguerite Jaune, Poor Land Daisy, Yellow Daisy, Yellow Oxeye Daisy.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Rudbeckia hirta, also known as black-eyed Susan or gloriosa daisy, is a annual or biennial flowering plant that is native to North America. It is a member of the Asteraceae family and is known for its bright yellow or orange flowers with a black center. The plant has hairy, green leaves and grows to be about 1-3 feet tall. It is a popular garden plant and is often used in wildflower mixes or as a naturalized planting. R. hirta is a hardy plant that is easy to grow and is tolerant of a wide range of soil types. It prefers full sun and can tolerate drought conditions. The plant has a number of medicinal properties and has been used traditionally to treat a variety of ailments, including skin irritation and respiratory problems. It is also attractive to pollinators and is a popular nectar source for bees, butterflies, and other insects.


Rudbeckia hirta, also known as the Black-Eyed Susan, is a popular perennial wildflower native to North America. With its cheerful yellow petals and distinctive black central disk, this flower is a staple in gardens, meadows, and wildflower fields across the continent.

The Black-Eyed Susan is a hardy and easy-to-grow plant that thrives in a variety of conditions. It prefers full sun but can tolerate partial shade, and will grow in almost any type of soil, as long as it is well-drained. The plant typically grows to a height of 2 to 3 feet, and its stems are covered in hairy leaves that are lance-shaped and green.

In late summer, the Black-Eyed Susan produces large, showy flowers that can range in color from yellow to orange. The flowers are 2 to 3 inches wide and are held on long stems that are great for cutting and arranging in bouquets. The black disk in the center of the flower provides a striking contrast to the bright yellow petals, making it a favorite among pollinators like bees and butterflies.

One of the great things about the Black-Eyed Susan is its versatility. It can be grown in a variety of settings, including in borders, meadows, wildflower gardens, and even in containers. The plant is also very easy to care for, and once established, it will come back year after year, making it a great choice for low-maintenance gardens.

In addition to its beauty, the Black-Eyed Susan has a number of uses beyond just ornamental value. The plant is known for its medicinal properties and has been used in traditional medicine for various ailments, including wounds, colds, and fevers. The flowers and leaves are also edible and can be used in teas and salads.

Another advantage of the Black-Eyed Susan is its adaptability to different climates. It is a hardy plant that can grow in a wide range of temperatures, from hot and humid summers to cold and dry winters. This makes it an ideal choice for gardeners in many different regions of the world, including the United States, Canada, and Europe.

In addition to its adaptability, the Black-Eyed Susan is also highly drought-tolerant, making it a great choice for xeriscaping or other water-wise landscaping techniques. Once established, this plant requires very little water, and it can often thrive with only natural rainfall.

Another important factor to consider when growing the Black-Eyed Susan is its longevity. Unlike some annual flowers that need to be replanted every year, this perennial will come back year after year, providing a reliable source of bright, cheerful color in your garden.

It's also important to note that the Black-Eyed Susan is not just a pretty face. It provides important benefits to wildlife, such as providing food and habitat for pollinators, insects, and other beneficial species. By planting this flower in your garden, you can play an important role in supporting biodiversity and helping to maintain a healthy ecosystem.

In conclusion, the Black-Eyed Susan is a highly versatile and low-maintenance flower that is well-suited to a wide range of climates and gardening styles. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or just starting out, this beautiful and beneficial plant is sure to add color and joy to your garden for years to come.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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