Thursday, July 26, 2012

Black Eyed Susan’s are so near and dear to my heart. Since I was a young child, I remember my Father marking in a “black book” when the first Black Eyed Susan would bloom. He took great pride in transplanting the native Rudbeckia hirta all over are 300 + acres in Brown County Indiana. In addition to that all six of us were called upon to cut the dead flower heads, containing the seed, and placing them in areas my Father thought they might possibly grow.

When we moved from Indiana to Kentucky some 30 years ago, I brought Black Eyed Susan’s. Since then I have planted them everywhere I thought they would grow on my 20 acres. My neighbors all have been given this ambitious grower as well as I have begun keeping my own “black book” and marking when the first bloom appears.

Rudbeckia hirta can reach a height of 1m. It has alternate, mostly basal leaves 10-18 cm long, covered by course hair. These can be somewhat itchy when messing with the plant and cause a rash. It flowers from June to August. The bloom usually measure 5-8 cm in diameter with yellow ray florets surrounding a brown, domed center.

Personally I love the happy yellow faces of this flower. A big bunch picked and put in a vase, to me just smiles!!! When my daughter was home recently, for a short weekend, she picked a huge bunch of Black Eyed Susan’s to journey home with her.

So the love continues….. Every time I see the yellow beauty, I know Dad is smiling at me from heaven.

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