Most of you probably recognize this friendly flower; black-eyed susan cultivars are popular in the gardeing world. This one is a little different than your average garden variety, though. It's the wild type, native to the grasslands of eastern and central Montana. It has bright green fuzzy foliage and the classic sunny yellow petals with dark centers.

 

Unlike popular cultivars, this species is a biennial, meaning it forms a rosette its first year, blooms the second year, and dies. However, it is a prolific and successful reseeder so if you leave a few seed heads on your plants you will be rewarded with new generations for as long as you want them around.

 

While likely not a true native of the Missoula valley, this species has earned a spot in our lignup because it provides garden color (and pollinator resources) later in the summer when many of our other natives are done blooming. 

 

Plant black-eyed susans in any well drained soil in full sun (or light partial shade). The more water they get, the taller they get. The won't get hugely tall, but they might flop over if they have too much water. 

Black-eyed Susan

  • Rudbeckia hirta