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In The Garden: Black-eyed Susan is great choice for native landscape

By Staff | May 7, 2019
PHOTO PROVIDED Black-eyed Susan

The black-eyed Susan (Rudebeckia hirta var.floridana) is a species in the Rudbeckia family found throughout Florida in the sandhills, flatwoods and disturbed areas. This wild flower species is characterized by its compound flower head consisting of many long yellow ray florets with a dark brown center.

Depending on the conditions, the species can perform as a short-lived perennial, biennial or annual in your South Florida native landscape. The seeds are self-sowing and are adaptable to dry and moist environments, flowering more with regular moisture. Black-eyed Susan prefers rich well-drained soil and full sun. The species can grow 1-3 feet in height and reach 2 feet in width.

This beautiful native species is great for attracting butterflies and other native insect species to one’s landscape. The native bees, wasps and butterflies are beneficial to creating a balanced ecosystem in your native garden. Planting Rudebeckia in combination with gaillardia, dune sunflower and coneflower can create a beautiful natural prairie look. The plant can be used as an accent shrub, planted in large swathes or other flowering species to create a mixed blooming garden.

In The Garden is a joint effort by all at the local garden center, at 3889 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel. For information, contact 239-395-5859 or visit “http://www.facebook.com/rswalshinthegarden”>www.facebook.com/rswalshinthegarden.