Rudbeckia, or Black Eyed Susan, is a common ornamental garden flower. It is a perennial nativet that requires little maintenance and adds great color and shape to any flower garden.
Rudbeckia is easy to get started either from seedlings or seeds. I tossed seed heads from spend flowers into an area I had covered in Ivy and the next year several flowers popped up, and have continued to come back years later.
Rudbeckia has several ecological niches. As a native plant, it attracts and sustains native pollinators. It is also the host plant of several caterpillars including the bordered patch, gorgone checkerspot, and silvery checkerspot. Native Americans value Black Eyed Susan as a medicinal plant, often used for immunity support, similar to echinacea.
Maintaining a plant could not be easier than with Rudbeckia. Once established it comes back year after year. It is drought tolerant, and most of the time deer resistant. I have had deer chomp off the flower head in late spring and early summer, but the rest of the time they seem to leave it alone. Dead-heading is the only real maintenance task, but it is worthwhile as it extends and already long blooming season. Rudbeckia blooms from late srping all the way until early fall.
If you’re looking to add a beautiful and easy native to your garden, look no further than black eyed susans!