Brown-eyed Susans

Botanical Name: Rudbeckia triloba

Height: about 1 m

Season of bloom: Late summer into early fall.

Growing Conditions: Part shade to sun. Thrives in poor soil

Wildlife benefits: Again, I refer you to the scholarly Illinois Wildflowers site. Of note is this species usefulness to a specialist bee: “. One of these bees, Andrena rudbeckiae, is a specialist pollinator (oligolege) of Rudbeckia and Ratibida coneflowers.”

From Ottawa Valley or eastern Ontario sources: Brown-eyed Susans occur in the wild in the Ottawa Valley; they are considered adventitious with agriculture. My seeds is of garden origin of unknown provenance.

Seeds: Truly one of the very easiest species to start from seed. Germination Code: C(30). Black miniature sunflower style seeds are small but smooth and relatively easy to manipulate. You can use the damp paper towel in a Ziplock freezer baggie in the refrigerator method of cold, moist stratification, if you want, to save space. Once a stand of Brown-eyed Susans is established in the garden, they will seed down to renew themselves. Many casual gardeners do not even realize that the individual plants are short-lived, as the patch comes back year after year.

Remarks: Smaller flowers than Black-eyed Susan, held in stiff clusters. Plants might live three years, so perhaps better considered very short-lived perennials, rather than biennials.

Similar species: Black-eyed Susan, Orange Coneflower

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