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A pale purple coneflower rises out of the remnants of a glade at Little Lost Creek Conservation Area as a Conservation Department forester cuts a cedar tree in the background.

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Photo of several black-eyed Susan flowers.

Black-Eyed Susan

Rudbeckia hirta
Black-eyed Susan is a tremendously popular native wildflower for gardening. It’s also commonly planted along roadways, so when it’s blooming, May through October, you’re sure to see it somewhere.

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Photo of black-eyed Susan flowerhead.

Black-Eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan is popular as a native garden ornamental and is often sold as a cut flower. Historically, Native Americans used this and other Rudbeckia species medicinally.

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Photo of black-eyed Susan flowerheads.

Black-Eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan is a tremendously popular native wildflower for gardening. It’s also commonly planted along roadways, so when it’s blooming, May through October, you’re sure to see it somewhere.

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Photo of several black-eyed Susan flowers.

Black-Eyed Susan

Its profusion of cheery, bright yellow flowers make black-eyed Susan one of our most beloved wildflowers. It is one of nine species of Rudbeckia recorded in Missouri, and it is the most familiar.

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Photo of black-eyed Susan plants blooming along the edge of a field.

Black-Eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan commonly grows in pastures, old fields, railroads, roadsides, and open, disturbed areas. This is the most abundant rudbeckia in Missouri and the one that prospers best in disturbed habitats.

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Photo of black-eyed Susan flowerhead with a beetle on it.

Black-Eyed Susan

In the 1970s, researchers explored the different patterns of reflected ultraviolet light in the corollas of this and other rudbeckias. Although UV light is invisible to humans, bees and some other insects can see it, and the special patterns in the flowers serve especially to attract them.

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Photo of black-eyed Susan flowerhead.

Black-Eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan flowerheads are solitary or in loose, open clusters, terminal on the stalk, and grow to 4 inches across. The 8–21 ray flowers are rich yellow or orangish and slender. The central disk is deep brown to purple-brown and hemispherical, becoming egg-shaped with maturity.

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Photo of bushy clump of brown-eyed Susan plants.

Brown-Eyed Susan

Rudbeckia triloba
Brown-eyed Susan is a bushy perennial with much-branching stems and plenty of flowerheads. Compared to Missouri’s other Rudbeckia species, its flowerheads are the smallest, growing to only about one inch across.

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Photo of bushy clump of brown-eyed Susan plants.

Brown-Eyed Susan

Brown-eyed Susan is a bushy perennial with much-branching stems. It blooms June–November.

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