En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Wednesday - January 20, 2010

From: Beaumont, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Is Rudbeckia hirta annual, biennial... or what?
Answered by: Jackie OKeefe

QUESTION:

The desciption for Rudbeckia hirta says it is biennial and blooms the second year then further down the page it says it is an annual, which is it? Will I see blooms the first or second year?

ANSWER:

There are several factors which can determine a plant's longevity. Rudbeckia hirta (blackeyed Susan) thrives in a wide range of climates and soils. In the wild, having the adaptability to complete its life cycle in one season ensures survival in some environments, while being able to mature for a year before blooming promotes survival in other situations. Since weather conditions can vary considerably year-to-year, this adaptability is one of the qualities that makes  Rudbeckia hirta (blackeyed Susan) such a wide-ranging plant.

In Texas' warm climate, if your Rudbeckia hirta (blackeyed Susan) plant is sufficiently mature and gets enough rain/water it will almost certainly bloom this season. If it gets enough moisture through the heat of the summer, it will probably live for another year. If the spent flowers drop seeds, seedlings will sprout with the fall rains for a new generation of plants next year.

According to the  USDA's PDF Fact Sheet :

Adaptation and Distribution
Black-eyed Susan is naturalized in most of the states east of Kansas and the bordering areas of Canada. It is adapted throughout the Northeast on soils with a drainage classification range from well-drained to somewhat poorly drained. It will perform acceptably on droughty soils during years with average or above rainfall, but best growth is achieved on sandy, well drained sites. It is winter hardy in areas where low temperatures are between -30 ° and -20 °F.


Rudbeckia hirta

Rudbeckia hirta

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Predictin bloom time for Indian Blankets (Gaillardia pulchella)
April 04, 2006 - Is there any way to predict when the Indian Blankets will bloom this year? I live in Dallas, and last year they were in peak bloom at Twelve Hills Nature Center (also in Dallas) around the 21st of Ma...
view the full question and answer

More on bluebonnets
April 05, 2006 - Hello: We have been told that the sparse Bluebonnet appearance this Spring is due to sparse rainfall at the appropriate times. Were there fewer seeds to sprout and grow? Or are the seeds still ...
view the full question and answer

What do wildflower seeds look like from Westlake Village CA
February 23, 2014 - I collect seeds from my wild flower garden but can't always tell what part of the dried flower is the actual seed that will reproduce. Is there a resource that shows the seed part of flowers? Than...
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers for flood plain in Minnesota
December 05, 2008 - Hi- Our home sits on 2 acres with about 1 of the acres in a flood plain area. That 1 acre has water running through it when the snow melts off and it generally dries up in 2 days. It is currently plan...
view the full question and answer

Healthy native plants supporting local economy from Tacoma Park MD
February 17, 2012 - I am collecting information on how healthy native plant communities can support the local economy. Do you think the Texas bluebonnets are a good example of this in Texas? For example, do you know ma...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center