Dateline: May 25, 2012*
I have a lot of Blackeyed Susans (Rudbeckia Hirta) in my garden. The bright yellow flowers with the dark centers are cheery in the pollinator garden and sprinkled a few other places where they appeared on their own. They can be prolific since they spread by roots as well as by seed. Come spring you can divide them up to share or just add them to other areas of your garden.
Donna Donabella of Gardens Eye View fame considers her local species of them one of the workhorses at her place. Fellow writer Ellen Sousa gives them a thumbs up because they last through fall, feeding not only pollinators but also birds. Since birds eat the seeds, they often get planted with birdies’ automatic fertilizer system along fence lines and under trees. Outside the garden, they also make a long lasting cut flower.
While out in my yard photographing nature as I do most days, I hovered over the pollinator section in the back section of my yard. As I clicked away, I didn’t think much about it, concentrating on capturing a shot when an insect stayed still long enough. As I sat down to crop the pictures, I noticed that the majority of these photos were of insects on Blackeyed Susans.
They certainly can draw a crowd. Now depending on where you live, some species of Rudbeckia are called coneflowers, others Browneyed Susans. There is a native variety in nearly every U.S. State (click on the Subordinate Taxa tab to find those for your area), so get out there and add this beauty to your beautiful wildlife garden. Pollinators and other visitors everywhere will thank you.
*This tale was originally published by Loret T. Setters on May 25, 2012 at the defunct national blog beautifulwildlifegarden[dot]com. Click the date to view reader comments.