Rudbeckia hirta - Sometimes referred to as Cone Flower


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Any bee travelling the interstate is sure to take a rest-stop here.

Sunflower Family (Asteraceae)

A coarse, rough-stemmed and gangly biennial. It's distinctive deep brown central cone contrasts nicely with the showy golden ray flowers. Grows 1-3 feet with lanceolate to ovate leaves usually toothed and bristly/hairy.

June to August

Old fields, prairies, roadsides. Open areas, even woods if very open.


I'm told that this plant was originally a prairie species that spread to grow all over. Good for it, because it's pretty when in bloom and easy to miss before getting there. It is an opportunistic plant that has learned to grow quickly and make a big show of it's reproduction to get more of its kind out there. To do so, the first year it concentrates on leaves, and then the second year, the flowers.

Ray flowers such as this emphasize the fact that bees and other pollinating insects need to be shown with advertising where to land. It probably has an UV pattern that accentuates this even more.

American Indians boiled the root for a tea, taken internally, that thwarted colds and expelled worms. The tea was also used topically for sores, snakebites and swelling. Mashed up juice was reported to be used for earaches, but i'm not going to try that unless i'm desperate (it could happen). Note: Some people have reported a contact sensitivity to this plant.

Makes a very pretty cut flower that has a vase-life of 6-10 days.


My observations about this plant can be found at:


If you're interested in growing Black Eyed Susans in your garden, the Texas Agricultural Extension Service has some information for you.

Wellesly College has more information on this plant and several pictures.