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The Black-Eyed Susan, 'Rudbeckia hirta', is the most drought tolerant of all the Rudbeckias. The beautiful 2 to 4 inch daisy like flowers are adorned with orange/yellow petals. Black-Eyed Susans bloom for a long time, at least 60 days. Even though grown as an annual, Black-Eyed Susan is technically a short-lived perennial and may come back for a second or third year. They reseed themselves for "naturalized" wildflower areas. Black-Eyed Susans bloom for about 8 weeks starting around mid summer.
Black-Eyed susan have a slight preference for alkaline soils that are well drained. They are short lived and should be treated as an annual. Plant in early spring 3 to 4 weeks before the last average frost date. Black-Eyed Susan is excellent for wildflower patches. They provide good fall color; when many perennial and annual flowers are beginning to fade, the Black-Eyed Susan look great.