Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Rudbeckia hirta

Black-eyed Susan, Common black-eyed Susan, Brown-eyed Susan

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed susan)
Page, Lee
This cheerful, widespread wildflower is considered an annual to a short-lived perennial across its range. Bright-yellow, 2-3 in. wide, daisy-like flowers with dark centers are its claim-to-fame. They occur singly atop 1-2 ft. stems. The stems and scattered, oval leaves are covered with bristly hairs. Coarse, rough-stemmed plant with daisy-like flower heads made up of showy golden-yellow ray flowers, with disk flowers forming a brown central cone.

This native prairie biennial forms a rosette of leaves the first year, followed by flowers the second year. It is covered with hairs that give it a slightly rough texture. The Green-headed Coneflower (R. laciniata) has yellow ray flowers pointing downward, a greenish-yellow disk, and irregularly divided leaves.

Image Gallery:

81 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: 1-2
Leaf: Green
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct


USA: AL , AR , CA , CO , CT , DE , FL , GA , ID , IL , IN , IA , KS , KY , LA , ME , MD , MA , MI , MN , MS , MO , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NY , NC , ND , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , VT , VA , WA , WV , WI , WY , DC
Canada: AB , BC , MB , NB , NS , ON , QC , SK
Native Distribution: W. MA to Man. & WY, s. to FL & NM; widely naturalized elsewhere
Native Habitat: Prairie, Plains, Meadows, Pastures, Savannahs, Woodlands edge, Opening

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist , Dry
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: None
Drought Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Moist to dry, well-drained soils. Juglones tolerant
Conditions Comments: The cheerful blossoms of the Black-eyed Susans liven up bouquets. This annuals may bloom longer with some afternoon shade. Birds enjoy the ripe seeds. Black-eyed Susan can become aggressive if given too perfect an environment and not enough competition.


Use Ornamental: Color, Showy, Blooms ornamental, Wildflower meadow, Pocket prairie
Use Wildlife: Nectar-Bees, Nectar-Butterflies, Nectar-insects, Seeds-Granivorous birds
Use Medicinal: Amerindians used root tea for worms, colds; external wash for sores, snakebites, swelling; root juice for earaches. (Foster & Duke)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies
Larval Host: Gorgone Checkerspot, Bordered Patch butterfly
Deer Resistant: High

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Rudbeckia hirta is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Bordered Patch
(Chlosyne lacinia)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA
Gorgone Checkerspot
(Chlosyne gorgone)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA

Last Update: 2013-09-11