Botanical Name: Rudbechia hirta
Species: R. hirta
Common Names: Black-Eye-Susan, Brown-eyed susan, Brown betty, Gloriosa daisy, Golden Jerusalem, Poorland daisy, Yellow daisy, and Yellow ox-eye daisy
Habitat: Rudbechia hirta native to the Eastern and Central North America and naturalized in the Western part of the continent as well as in China. It has now been found in all 10 Canadian Provinces and all 48 of the states in the contiguous United States.
Rudbeckia hirta is an upright annual (sometimes biennial or perennial) growing 30–100 cm (12–39 in) tall by 30–45 cm (12–18 in) wide. It has alternate, mostly basal leaves 10–18 cm long, covered by coarse hair, with stout branching stems and daisy-like, composite flower heads appearing in late summer and early autumn. In the species, the flowers are up to 10 cm (4 in) in diameter, with yellow ray florets circling conspicuous brown or black, dome-shaped cone of many small disc florets. However, extensive breeding has produced a range of sizes and colours, including oranges, reds and browns
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There are four varieties
*Rudbeckia hirta var. angustifolia – southeastern + south-central United States (South Carolina to Texas)
*Rudbeckia hirta var. floridana – Florida
*Rudbeckia hirta var. hirta – Eastern United States (Maine to Alabama).
*Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima. Widespread in most of North America (Newfoundland to British Columbia, south to Alabama and New Mexico; naturalized Washington to California).
Rudbeckia hirta is widely cultivated in parks and gardens, for summer bedding schemes, borders, containers, wildflower gardens, prairie-style plantings and cut flowers. Numerous cultivars have been developed, of which ‘Indian Summer’ and ‘Toto’ have gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit. Other popular cultivars include ‘Double Gold’ and ‘Marmalade’.
Gloriosa daisies are tetraploid cultivars having much larger flower heads than the wild species, often doubled or with contrasting markings on the ray florets. They were first bred by Alfred Blakeslee of Smith College by applying colchicine to R. hirta seeds; Blakeslee’s stock was further developed by W. Atlee Burpee and introduced to commerce at the 1957 Philadelphia Flower Show. Gloriosa daisies are generally treated as annuals or short-lived perennials and are typically grown from seed, though there are some named cultivars.
Certain parts of the plant contains anthocyanins a class of antioxidant with several known health benefits.
Traditional Native American medicinal uses:
American Indians used root tea to treat parasitic infestations such as pinworm. They used it externally to treat snake bits, superficial wounds and earaches.
*The roots but not the seedheads of Rudbeckia hirta can be used much like the related Echinacea purpurea to boost immunity and fight colds, flu and infections.
*It is also an astringent when used in a warm infusion as a wash for sores and swellings.
*The Ojibwa people used it as a poultice for snake bites and to make an infusion for treating colds and worms in children.
*The plant is also diuretic and was used by the Menominee and Potawatomi peoples.
*Juice from the roots has been used as drops for earaches
*Butterflies are attracted to Rudbeckia hirta when planted in large color-masses, creating a beautiful spectacle.
* The black-eyed Susan which also traditionally symbolizes “Justice” makes a very nice cut-flower with a vase life up to 10 days
Known Hazards: The species is known to be toxic to cats when ingeste
As with any wild plant, it is usually recommended to research carefully before consuming as not all parts of the plant may be edible and to avoid mis-identification with other plants that may look similar to the Black eyed Susan.
It is widely recommended always to consul
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.