Will the real Black-Eyed Susan please stand up?
When I was a child at camp, I first began to notice the native Black-Eyed Susans. I loved their wild and free behavior and asked that my friends and family go out and pick them to become part of my wedding flowers. This was not a simple request. The almost wild, perennial, Black-Eyed Susans prefer their native habitats to that of being plucked, shoved into vases, and brought inside. [I think that nature was speaking to me on my wedding day; I must admit that I exhibit the same behavior. ]. The true Black-Eyed Susan is a flower that begs you to love it as it is–out in the woods, along the roadside, and/or in a meadow–Free.
Rudbeckia Goldsturm — is the true Black-Eyed Susan that I loved as a child.
In the dappled, filtered light of a woodland, Goldsturm’s stems are spindly and its leaves are almost blade-like. Its greenery is just strong enough to hold the rather large flowers. While the Goldsturm is not as showy as the rudbeckias that one might buy commerically when established, it is the true garden winner and will adorn the hot summer garden year after year.
Rudbeckia hirta Indian Summer
Rudbeckia hirta Indian Summer – a Hirta Rudbeckia with its erect, thicker stems, more dense flowers, and larger, fuller leaves might appear to be th stronger, more desirable of the two types of Black-Eyed Susans, but Indian Summer is rather like a Four-Flusher in Poker. For a brief show, he puffs out his chest and struts proudly. Then, he just fizzles. [We all know people like that].
Rarely returning after its first year, Indian Summer and other Hirtas behave more like annuals than perennials. At best, the Hirtas may reseed and return as a biennial–yet, I have not witnessed this in my garden.
Rudbeckia General Information:
“Rudbeckia hirta are wonderful, free flowering daisies in colors from yellow through bronze and mahogany. You can have them for years, but the original plants will only last a few seasons. But wait! The plants self-seed readily, and if you learn to recognize the slightly hairy seedlings and allow a few to develop where you want them, you can have as many as you want for many years.” http://www.bluestoneperennials.com/RUCP.html