Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan)

Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) on 6-22-22, #894-17.

Black-Eyed Susan

Rudbeckia hirta

(Likely Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima)

rud-BEK-ee-ah HER-tuh

Synonyms of Rudbeckia hirta (4) (Updated on 11-29-22 from Plants of the World Online): Centrocarpha hirta (L.) D.Don ex G.Don, Coreopsis hirta (L.) Raf., Helianthus hirtus (L.) E.H.L.Krause, Peramibus hirtus (L.) Raf.
Synonyms of Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima Farw. (23) (Updated on 11-29-22 from POWO): Brauneria serotina (Sweet) Bergmans, Obeliscotheca flava (T.V.Moore) Nieuwl. & Lunell, Obeliscotheca flava var. perbracteata (Lunell) Nieuwl. & Lunell, Rudbeckia bicolor Nutt., Rudbeckia flava T.V.Moore, Rudbeckia flava var. perbracteata Lunell, Rudbeckia flexuosa T.V.Moore, Rudbeckia hirta var. corymbifera Fernald, Rudbeckia hirta var. lanceolata (Bisch.) Core, Rudbeckia hirta f. pleniflora Moldenke, Rudbeckia hirta var. rubra Clute, Rudbeckia hirta var. sericea (T.V.Moore) Fernald, Rudbeckia hirta var. serotina (Nutt.) Core, Rudbeckia longipes T.V.Moore, Rudbeckia sericea T.V.Moore, Rudbeckia serotina Nutt., Rudbeckia serotina var. corymbifera (Fernald) Fernald & B.G.Schub., Rudbeckia serotina var. lanceolata (Bisch.) Fernald & B.G.Schub., Rudbeckia serotina f. pleniflora (Moldenke) Fernald & B.G.Schub., Rudbeckia serotina f. pulcherrima (Farw.) Fernald & B.G.Schub., Rudbeckia serotina f. rubra (Clute) Fernald & B.G.Schub., Rudbeckia serotina var. sericea (T.V.Moore) Fernald & B.G.Schub., Rudbeckia strigosa Nutt.

Rudbeckia hirta L. is the accepted scientific name for this species of Rudbeckia. The genus and species were named and described as such by Carl von Linnaeus in the second volume of the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753.

Accepted Infraspecific Names (4) (Updated on 11-29-22 from POWO: Rudbeckia hirta var. angustifolia (T.V.Moore) Perdue, Rudbeckia hirta var. floridana (T.V.Moore) Perdue, *Rudbeckia hirta var. hirta (autonym), Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima Farw. *When an infraspecific taxon is named, an autonym (“type-specimen”) is automatically generated whose description is closest to the (original) species. All have their own list of synonyms… Plants in Missouri are normally assigned to Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima.

Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima Farw. is the accepted scientific name for this variety of Rudbeckia. It was named and described as such by Oliver Atkins Farwell in Report (Annual) of the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters in 1904.

As of 11-29-22 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online lists 24 species in the Rudbeckia genus. It is a member of the plant family Asteraceae with 1,689 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made by POWO. The number of genera in the family changes quite often, up and down… 

I gave this page a make-over when it was updated on 11-29-22. More photos from 2013-2022 are at the bottom of the page below the links…

Distribution map of Rudbeckia hirta from Plants of the World Online. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; Retrieved on December 26, 2021.

The above distribution map for Rudbeckia hirta is from the Plants of the World Online and includes the species and lower taxon. Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima is the most widespread. Areas in green are where the species is native and purple is where it has been introduced. The maps on the USDA Plants Database are similar but also includes Montana. You can go to the links and click on the subordinate taxon to see their maps.

The map on iNaturalist shows where members have made observations. Anyone can join and it is a great website to confirm and share your observations. The maps on iNaturalist are continually updated as members post new observations.


Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) on 9-2-22, #908-29.

There are A LOT of Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) on the farm and throughout the countryside. When I am wildflower hunting they kind of get ignored because I already know what they are. It is kind of exciting in a way when I find a species I haven’t seen before and find out its ID.

Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) on 9-17-22, #912-24.

There are numerous small groups, but there are also a few very large colonies. Even the large colonies have small groups… Kind of like a country with small towns and cities with suburbs.

Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) on 9-17-22, #912-25.

What I found odd was that the only flowers I had seen were the same ‘ol colors I had always seen. You know, the yellow ray florets and dark brown centers (disc florets). I have seen photos of Rudbeckia hirta with red splotches, but never here. But, take a look at the above photo closely… Check the difference between the flowers on the right and on the left… It was one of those “hmmm” moments.

Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) on 9-17-22, #912-26.

The same ‘ol flowers I have seen thousands of… And I’m sure you as well.

Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) on 9-17-22, #912-27.

Well, I suppose I need to go in order, you know, 912-26, 912-27, 912-28… I guess I should have got that figured out before I numbered the photos… The above photo os of a flower not quite open surrounded with very hairy involucral bracts.

Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) on 9-17-22, #912-28.

And of course the hairy stems. Since I took the majority of the photos in September, most of the plants leaves were looking kind of ratty and the stems had a lot of maroonish markings…

Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) on 9-17-22, #912-29.

The leaves of first year plants grow in a rosette. These plants will bloom in 2023.

Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) on 9-17-22, #912-30.

OK, now getting back to the left side of photo #912-25. I had to take the other photos inbetween to make sure I wasn’t looking at another species. The Missouri Plants website lists 12 species of Rudbeckia in Missouri, so you never know…

Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) on 9-17-22, #912-32.

The flowers with the lighter brown disc flowers caught my eye… Then I got to thinking “what if” larger colonies had more variable smaller groups out toward the center…

Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) on 9-17-22, #912-34.

I walked out toward the middle of the mass colony and LO AND BEHOLD!!! What I have been looking for for many years! Rudbeckia hirta with reddish markings on their petals! There were several smaller “suburbs” here and there like this. That is AWESOME! Right here in the south hayfield!

Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) on 9-17-22, #912-36.

Yep, another photo of the hairy involucral bracts… You know, involucral bracts are an inmprtant feature when it comes to plant ID, especially from one genera to another. Bracts in some genera are different from species to species, too.

Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) on 9-17-22, #912-37.

There were alof of flowers with dark orange toward the center…

Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) on 9-17-22, #912-38.

How is that for a combination?

I will come back at some point to add descriptions of the plants parts. During the winter months when there aren’t any wildflowers to photograps, I update the pages on this site, add new photos to old pages, and add new pages. Writing descriptions takes even longer and can be somewhat difficult for me so I do that as I have time… It seems I always have something better to do like take a nap. 🙂 I will get it done…

After I found the bicolored flowers in the hayfield, I wrote a post Variations of Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan). You might want to take a look…

Another post, Symphyotrichum Workout“, has information about the Symphyotrichum species on the farm plus information about the flowers of the plant family Asteraceae.

You can also view the Asteraceae Family page to see the other members in the family I have grown and observed…

Family: Asteraceae (Compositae)
Origin: Native to most of the United States and Canada at least.
Zones: USDA Zones 3a-9b (-40 to 25° F)
Size: 24-36” tall x 12-24” wide
Light: Sun
Soil: Average, well-drained soil
Water: Average
Tolerates: Heat, drought, and just about any soil type.
Maintenance: Can deadhead to increase flower production.

I have enjoyed photographing and learning about the many wildflowers growing on the farm and in other areas. The farm is in Windsor, Missouri in Pettis County (Henry County is across the street, and Benton and Johnson aren’t far away). I have grown over 500 different plants and identified over 100 species of wildflowers (most have pages listed on the right side of the page). I am not an expert, botanist, or horticulturalist. I just like growing, photographing, and writing about my experience. I rely on several websites for ID and a few horticulturalists I contact if I cannot figure them out. Wildflowers can be somewhat variable from location to location, so sometimes it gets a bit confusing. If you see I have made an error, please let me know so I can correct what I have written.

Thanks for visiting this page and I hope you found it useful and be sure to check the links below for more information. They were written by experts and provide much more information. Some sites may not be up-to-date but they are always a work in progress. If you can, I would appreciate it if you would click on the “Like” below and leave a comment. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. You can also send an email to me at I would enjoy hearing from you especially if you notice something is a bit whacky.



NOTE: The data (figures, maps, accepted names, etc.) may not match on these websites. It depends on when and how they make updates and when their sources make updates. Some websites have hundreds and even many thousands of species to keep up with. Accepted scientific names change periodically and it can be hard to keep with as well. Some of the links may use a name that is a synonym on other sites. In my opinion, Plants of the World Online by Kew is the most reliable and up-to-date plant database and they make updates on a regular basis. I make updates “at least” once a year and when I write new pages or add new photos but I do get behind. We are all a work in progress. 🙂


Rudbeckia hirta (Brown-Eyed Susan) in the hayfield on 7-9-13, #161-9.

The above photo was taken on July 9 in 2013. I was standing along the edge of the main hayfield/pasture looking north.

Hmmm… I more or less “cut and pasted” and old page and put it at the bottom.

Rudbeckia hirta in the back pasture on 7-9-13, #161-10.

Sometimes I look at a photo and have no idea where I was standing. Oh, yeah! I think probably in the back pasture. The fence is more grown up now…

Rudbeckia hirta in the garden with the potatoes on 6-24-17, #349-68.

Whenever I see any of these plants in the garden or flower beds I just let them grow. Never hurts to have a few pollinators here and there for bees and butterflies.

Rudbeckia hirta in front of the chicken house next to the Equisetum hyemale (Horsetail) on 7-9-17, #355-40.

They just pop up here and there…

Rudbeckia hirta in the northeast corner bed next to the old foundation on 7-19-17, #357-66.

I moved the Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldstrum’/’Goldsturm’ to the northeast corner bed next to the old foundation (where my grandparents lived). There was already an small colony of native Rudbeckia hirta there.


Rudbeckia hirta on 10-3-18, #514-21.

I had started getting more into the identification of wildflowers on the farm which sometimes required multiple photos of various parts of the plants.

Rudbeckia hirta flowers on 10-3-18, #514-22.

Rudbeckia hirta seems pretty self-explanatory for the most part, but there are three other varieties of Rudbeckia hirta besides the species. Rudbeckia hirta var. angustifolia, Rudbeckia hirta var. floridana, and Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima are the other three. Besides that, the Missouri Department of Conservation website says there are nine species of Rudbeckia in Missouri. From a distance, you cannot tell the difference. Missouri’s Rudbeckia hirta has been further classified as Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima.

Rudbeckia hirta stems on 10-3-18, #514-23.


Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) on 5-25-19, #576-66.


Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) on 6-5-19, #583-27.


Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) on 6-9-19, #585-18.


Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) on 6-14-19, #589-9.


Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) and Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ on 6-26-19, #596-15.


Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) on 7-22-19, #604-30.


Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) on 7-22-19, #604-31.


Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) on 7-22-19, #604-32.


Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) on 7-22-19, #604-33.


Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) on 7-22-19, #604-34.


Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) on 7-22-19, #604-35.


Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) on 10-22-21, #849-14.

Even on October 22 in 2021 there were still quite a few Rudbeckia hirta flowering on the farm. We have had a mild fall with no “F” yet. Many wildflowers will regrow and bloom after the hay is cut while the older plants that didn’t get cut have already fizzled out.


Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) on 6-22-22, #894-18.

I put most of the 2022 photos in the upper part of this page and added the rest here.

Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) on 6-22-22, #894-19.


Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) on 9-17-22, #912-31.

Later in the summer, the leaves get somewhat raggy and weird looking…

Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) on 9-17-22, #912-33.


Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan) on 9-17-22, #912-35.

This one is waving bye…



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