Rudbeckia hirta (also called black-eyed Susan)
Herbaceous biennial grown for bright daisy-like flowers that bloom in summer and autumn. Very attractive to bees, butterflies and hoverflies.
Flowers in summer and autumn.
Habit – tall, quite lax and may need supporting by other plants or canes. H: up to 1.5m. S: .5m
Stems – mid-green, hairy, round, lax.
Leaves – lanceolate, green, hairy.
Flowers – daisy-like, in shades from yellow through orange and red to dark brown. Dark brown centres that start with a glossy sheen and become raised as the flower matures.
Comment: the newly opened flower centres look rather like blocks of rich brown eye make-up, but no colour comes away when you brush your finger over them. It's oddly disappointing.
Full sun to partial shade.
Reasonably fertile, well drained.
Dead head to prolong flowering. Cut back when flowers have finished. May be attacked by slugs and snails so might need protection.
Start from seed in spring and plant out when frosts have finished. Will self seed.
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