Black-eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan
Black-eyed Susan. Rudbeckia hirta.
Asteraceae, the daisy, sunflower, or composite family.

Plant: Erect, hairy, occasionally branching plant, 1'-3', with golden yellow, daisy-like flowers with dark, cone-shaped centers. Perennial.
Flowers: Heads 1.5" - 3", with 8-15 long, golden-yellow rays, and a dark brown central disk that becomes cone-shaped with age, borne on long stems arising from the leaf axils.
Leaves: Alternate, narrowly elliptic or ovate, 1"-4", hairy, lower ones with winged stalk, upper ones becoming sessile.
Fruit: A head of small, dry achenes.
Blooming: June-August
Habitat: Fields, meadow, clearings.

Comments: Members of the genus Rudbeckia are sometimes known as Coneflowers because of the cone-shaped central disk. There are a number of native golden-yellow species distinguished by the leaves and details of the central cone and involucral bracts. This one is probably the most familiar and is common across much of temperate North America. The well-known Purple Coneflower is a member of the genus Echinacea.

Where to find it: Common in the drier, upper meadow south of the pond, the west end, and scattered elsewhere.