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Rudbeckia hirta

Template:Taxobox Rudbeckia hirta, commonly called black-eyed Susan, is a North American flowering plant in the sunflower family, native to Eastern and Central North America and naturalized in the Western part of the continent as well as in China. It has now been found in all 10 Canadian Provinces and all 48 of the states in the contiguous United States.<ref>Template:BONAP</ref><ref name=v/><ref>Template:EFloras</ref>

Rudbeckia hirta is one of a number of plants with the common name black-eyed Susan. Other common names for this plant include: brown-eyed Susan, brown betty, gloriosa daisy, golden Jerusalem,<ref>Dolgopolov, Y. (2004). A collection of confusable phrases: False 'friends' and 'enemies' in idioms and collocations. Coral Springs, FL: Llumina Press.</ref><ref>http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/niggerhead</ref> English bull's eye, poor-land daisy, yellow daisy, and yellow ox-eye daisy.<ref>Template:Cite book</ref>

Rudbeckia hirta is the state flower of Maryland.<ref name="maryland">"MARYLAND AT A GLANCE: STATE SYMBOLS, Maryland State Flower - Black-Eyed Susan", Maryland State Archives, Maryland Manual Online</ref>

The plant also is a traditional Native American medicinal herb in several tribal nations;<ref name=Moerman>Moerman. D. (1998). Native American Ethnobotany. Timber Press. Oregon. Template:ISBN.</ref> believed in those cultures to be a remedy, among other things, for colds, flu, infection, swelling and (topically, by poultice) for snake bite (although not all parts of the plant are edible)<ref name=Moerman/>

Parts of the plant have nutritional value. Other parts are not edible.


Rudbeckia hirta is an upright annual (sometimes biennial or perennial) growing Template:Convert tall by Template:Convert wide. It has alternate, mostly basal leaves 10–18 cm long, covered by coarse hair, with stout branching stems and daisy-like, composite flower heads appearing in late summer and early autumn. In the species, the flowers are up to Template:Convert in diameter, with yellow ray florets circling conspicuous brown or black, dome-shaped cone of many small disc florets.<ref>Floridata: Rudbeckia hirta.</ref> However, extensive breeding has produced a range of sizes and colours, including oranges, reds and browns.<ref name=v/><ref name=RHSAZ>Template:Cite book</ref>


The genus name honors Olaus Rudbeck, who was a professor of botany at the University of Uppsala in Sweden and was one of Linnaeus's teachers. The specific epithet refers to the trichomes (hairs) occurring on leaves and stems.<ref>Andy's Northern Ontario Wildflowers: Native Meadow Wildflowers. Black-eyed Susan.</ref>


There are four varieties<ref name=x>Template:ThePlantList</ref><ref name=v>Template:EFloras</ref>


Rudbeckia hirta is widely cultivated in parks and gardens, for summer bedding schemes, borders, containers, wildflower gardens, prairie-style plantings and cut flowers. Numerous cultivars have been developed, of which 'Indian Summer'<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> and 'Toto'<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> Other popular cultivars include 'Double Gold' and 'Marmalade'.

Gloriosa daisies are tetraploid cultivars having much larger flower heads than the wild species, often doubled or with contrasting markings on the ray florets. They were first bred by Alfred Blakeslee of Smith College by applying colchicine to R. hirta seeds; Blakeslee's stock was further developed by W. Atlee Burpee and introduced to commerce at the 1957 Philadelphia Flower Show.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref> Gloriosa daisies are generally treated as annuals or short-lived perennials and are typically grown from seed, though there are some named cultivars.

Symbolism and uses


Maryland state flower

This species is the Maryland state flower<ref name="maryland"/> and is widely planted in gardens and used in ceremonies there. It also grows wild throughout much of the state.<ref name="maryland"/>
  • The black-eyed Susan was designated the state flower of Maryland in 1918.<ref name="maryland"/><ref>Template:Cite web</ref> In this capacity it is used in gardens and ceremonies to celebrate, memorialize and show affection for the state of Maryland and its people.
  • The Preakness Stakes in Baltimore, Maryland, has been termed "The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans" because a blanket of Viking Poms, a variety of Chrysanthemums resembling Black-eyed Susans, is traditionally placed around the winning horse's neck (actual Black-eyed Susans are not in bloom in May during the Preakness).<ref>Reimer, Susan. "Neither Susans nor daisies", Baltimore Sun. May 16, 2014</ref>

Symbol of Justice

The black-eyed Susan which also traditionally symbolizes “Justice” makes a very nice cut-flower with a vase life up to 10 days.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

University of Southern Mississippi

In 1912, the black-eyed Susan became the inspiration for the University of Southern Mississippi school colors (black and gold), suggested by Florence Burrow Pope, a member of the university's first graduating class. According to Pope: “On a trip home, I saw great masses of Black-Eyed Susans in the pine forests. I decided to encourage my senior class to gather Black-Eyed Susans to spell out the name of the class on sheets to be displayed during exercises on Class Day. I then suggested black and gold as class colors, and my suggestion was adopted."<ref>Template:Cite book</ref>

Butterfly attractant for enhancing gardens

  • Butterflies are attracted to Rudbeckia hirta when planted in large color-masses, creating a beautiful spectacle.<ref name="The Field Museum Magazine">Template:Cite journal</ref>

Traditional Native American medicinal uses

Juice from the roots has been used as drops for earaches.<ref name=Moerman/>

Nutritional parts


  • As with any wild plant, it is usually recommended to research carefully before consuming as not all parts of the plant may be edible and to avoid mis-identification with other plants that may look similar to the Black eyed Susan.
  • It is widely recommended always to consult one's doctor before taking any medicinal herb.
  • With any herb approved by a doctor for use, it is widely agreed that recommended dosages and preparation procedures should always be followed.
  • The species is also known to be toxic to cats when ingested.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>




External links