Our mystery seeds last week were from black-eyed susan plants, Rudbeckia hirta.

Rudbeckia-Susan(Photo is in public domain from Wikimedia)

You probably have seen these cheery yellow-orange flowers with their chocolate brown centers. Black-eyed susan (also called brown-eyed susan) plants are native to widespread regions of North America. They have been taken into cultivation in many other areas as well.

rudbeckia-brown-eyed-susanWe found this lovely patch growing in a garden in Switzerland.

They grow as biennials or short-lived perennials, although they can be grown as annuals in some areas. They are fairly drought tolerant and relatively easy to grow from seeds.

Black-eyed susans are a wonderful choice for a native wildflower garden or prairie yard. See, for example, Alex Wild’s prairie yard in this post (scroll down). They are favorites of birds, bees and butterflies. In fact, black-eyed susans are larval host plants for at least two species of butterfly, so they would be wonderful additions to butterfly gardens as well.

Have you ever grown black-eyed susans?