Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida)
• Zones 1-24, 26-43
• Full sun
• Regular to moderate watering
Bright colored and easy to grow, black-eyed Susan is covered with 3- to 4-inch-wide, dark-centered yellow daisies from midsummer until late fall. The flowers are borne on multibranched, 2- to 3-foot stems that rise from a 2-foot-wide foliage clump; leaves are medium green, elliptical in shape, up to 5 inches long. Cut for bouquets or deadhead during the season to prolong bloom, but leave the last blooms of summer in place; the dark centers that remain after petals drop can be used in dried arrangements or left on the plants as food for birds.
Black-eyed Susan grows well in ordinary garden soil, spreading by underground rhizomes to form large clumps (you can remove newly emerging plants if they overreach their boundaries). Divide clumps when they lose vigor and their centers stop growing and blooming (every 4 to 5 years or so).