R is for Rudbekia

posted in: Plants, Seeds | 0

Rudbeckia or black eyed Susan, brown eyed Susan, gloriosa or rudbekia.
I love this native/wildflower that grows in the garden each year. There are over 20 varieities, sometimes called coneflowers. I have at least 6 different varieties, but don’t know the technical names.

 gloriosaa

They require little very care, self seeds itself and displays varying colours of blooms.

rudbekia04a

They grow about 45 to 100 cm. high in full sun and will tolerate dry conditions. It is sometimes listed as a perennial or a hardy biennial.   Blooms appear towards the end of June and last right through to fall. The plant will attract butterflies and beneficial insects.

blackeyesusan08a

I do snip off the blooms as they finish to encourage more.  If you want to collect seeds, wait till after the flower petals fall off the spent bloom and snip off the seed head. Running your thumb nail along the seedpod will give you the tiny rudbekia seeds.  I also just tuck the seedpods in among the remaining stems of the plants and it will reseed itself the following year.

seedrudbekia01     seedrudbekia02

I know many people like to cut down the old plants before winter sets in, but I leave the  seed heads on the plant.  The birds, especially the goldfinches, will feast on the seeds.  The seeds will also drop and grow more plants for the next year.  These native plants grow along the sides of highways and roads and no one goes out and cuts them down each year. They are left for Nature to take its course and many plants grow up the following year.

rudbekiacollage1

The many faces of Susan … black eyed Susan, brown eyed Susan, gloriosa or rudbekia.

It’s time for ABC Wednesday where the letter this week is R.

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