Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
2 ratings

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

Weed killer and bluebonnets in Angleton, TX
March 18, 2010 - Is there a way to weed my yard with weed killer and not harm my bluebonnets?
view the full question and answer

Is purple coneflower native to Colorado?
July 20, 2009 - I have seen the purple cone flower growing wild in Gunnison National Forest in Colorado. Is it a native to that state or has it been brought in?
view the full question and answer

Hardiness of bluebonnet seeds under water and white bluebonnets
April 30, 2007 - I was trying to find out more about the hardiness of bluebonnets. We own a lot on Lake Travis near Spicewood Texas. As you are probably aware, the lake was very low this spring due to a drought that ...
view the full question and answer

Can you grow Texas bluebonnets in Florida?
April 20, 2009 - Can you grow Texas Bluebonnets in mid-Florida?
view the full question and answer

Time to mow bluebonnets from Smithville TX
April 12, 2012 - When is the best time to mow the seeded Bluebonnets? I have them and Drummond Phlox in my front yard. I need to clean and trim to start pulling the large numbers of Purple Hooked Sandburr.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.