Black-eyed Susan
Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrimaAsteraceae
Whole Plant
Whole PlantFlowerFlower
Photos (c) Cheryl Comeau Beaton unless otherwise noted


  • Rudbeckia bicolor
  • Rudbeckia hirta var. corymbifera, Rudbeckia hirta var. lanceolata, Rudbeckia hirta var. sericea, Rudbeckia hirta var. serotina
  • Rudbeckia longipes, Rudbeckia sericea, Rudbeckia serotina, Rudbeckia serotina var. corymbifera, Rudbeckia serotina var. lanceolata, Rudbeckia serotina var. serice

The Plant:

  • An herbaceous, clump-forming perennial, 2-3 feet tall.

The Leaves:

  • alternate
  • coarse hairs
  • upper leaves sessile
  • oblong to lanceolate

The Stem:

  • coarsely hairy

The Flowers:

  • Golden yellow ray flowers, reflexed with many petals. Dark brown to black disk flowers arranged in a raised clump in the center.

The Fruits:

  • dry, stiff achenes in a tight, gumdrop-shaped cluster
  • surrounded at the base by dried ray petals

The Habitat:

  • fields
  • dry, sandy areas
  • moors
  • roadsides
  • gardens


  • wind-dispersed seeds

Key ID Features:

  • bright yellow flowers
  • cone-shaped, brownish disk flowers
  • coarse hairs
  • petals slightly reflexed

Similar Species:

  • There are several other Rudbeckia species in cultivation.


  • This species is native to Massachusetts, but is not considered native to Nantucket. On the island, it is a roadside weed, often planted through wildflower seed mixes from which it can spread into natural habitats.

Growth Form: Herb

Origin: United States

Level of Invasiveness for Nantucket: Do not list at this time

Level of Invasiveness for Massachusetts: Not evaluated

Massachusetts Cultivation Restrictions: no

Credits: The Electronic Field Guide to the Invasive Plants of Nantucket (c) 2005-2006 Maria Mitchell Association, EFG Project, UMass Boston