Brown Eyed Girl in the September Garden
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my favorite Rudbeckia is Brown-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia triloba). Though the common name is puzzling – is the eye any more brown than either of the Rudbeckia species commonly known as Black-Eyed Susan (R. hirta and R. fulgida)?
But let’s not split hairs.
Right now, Brown-Eyed Susan is certainly the most abundant of all the blooms to be found in the front garden. Indeed, this short-lived perennial flower can bloom from July to October, but is probably at its peak in early September.
Brown-Eyed Susan is a cheerfully generous plant, which is why I am so fond of it. She is generous with her blooms – see through masses of golden-yellow daisies.
She is generous in her tolerance for varied conditions – sun or light shade, moist or dry soil. I’ve found that she happily adapts to being cut back hard. This can be necessary as Brown-Eyed Susan can grow up to 5′ in garden conditions.
Though rather short-lived, she generously provides gardeners with her many offspring. Once you have a single Brown-Eyed Susan, you should never have to buy another one. I appreciate the fact that there are always a few extra Brown-Eyed Susans around to fill in empty spots that appear in beds and borders.
Admittedly, it is possible to have too many Brown-Eyed Susans. However, that is easily remedied.
Brown-Eyed Susan’s light, cloud-like mass of flowers goes well with the grasses that come into their own at this time of year.
Still, I wish there were a better common name for this species. It is also known as Branched Coneflower or Three-Leaved Coneflower, but those names seem terribly unromantic. So – Brown-Eyed Susan it is.
nice wild pictures
Jason, do you have trouble with your brown eyed Susan’s flopping or falling over? I love my Rudbeckia for its carefree nature but it does flop and fall over.
Yes, it definitely has a tendency to flop. However, this plant responds well to being cut back hard – at least 2/3. I also use stakes and twine to keep it upright.
I wonder if the Brown Eyed Susan would survive in our front garden, where we can very hot weather in summer, and spring winds…I might give them a try, it is lovely to have cheerful flowers in the front garden.
It’s pretty adaptable. Might be worth giving a try.
She is beautiful, no matter what her name is!
Abundance in any plant is always a joy; and when it is such a happy looking flower it is all the more welcome.
You have a lovely display of these golden flowers – very pretty, especially in such nice big clumps.
Yes, it really looks best in masses.
Oh yes, she is prolific. I do enjoy her spreading her cheerful self around the garden. She even took herself out to the front garden for a bit more sun. That is the darkest brown I have ever seen tho.
She likes to move right into the spots that appeal to her.
I love the rudbeckias, too. Triloba is a most welcome inhabitant in my gardens.
Mine as well.
I have the common native variety but they still provide much needed beauty this time of year. 🙂
I also grow the straight species native.
Hear, hear! Without my Susan—black eyed, in my case—my front garden would be a sorry, ragged sight. But Susan brightens everything, and makes the front garden look funky rather than ragged.
She does stay cheerful as other plants whither in August and September.
I think R. triloba is my favorite Rudbeckia too, Jason.
Great minds think alike! 😉
It’s actually my first year growing brown-eyed Susan. I have her in a fairly shady spot, so she didn’t grow that large, but she is flowering prettily. I hope she’ll give me some volunteers next year that I can transplant to sunnier areas. Do seedlings transplant easily?
Yes, I find that they do.
I love most things that will romp around a garden and show up in unexpected places. As I spy your Tithonia in the background, I am kicking myself yet again for failing to grow it this year. Orange will always win out over yellow here, but I do love Susan in your garden.
There’s always next year for the Tithonia.
I am pleased to have some around, too. Their cheerful blooms make up for the plant’s weedy looking foliage for part of the summer.
Do you really think the foliage is weedy? I never saw it that way, but then I’ve never paid much attention to the foliage.
I think it’s mostly before the flower stem comes up that it looks like a weed to me.
They are a great flower, and I do love a self-seeding plant. 😉
They are beauties!
And so easy to grow.
Never get tired of them
If your tired of R. triloba, you’re tired of life.
What a display! I only have blacked eyed susans…I think. Most of the plants in my garden were inherited from the previous owners so it’s often a guessing game.
The former owners here left only a limited selection of plants, an advantage in some ways.
She is a beauty, your brown eyed girl!!!
La dee dah.
She is looking good with her brown eyes.
Brown eyes or black, she does look good.
They are very beautiful! I planted a black-eyed Susan vine (Thunbergia alata) this year and I am anxiously waiting for it to bloom.
It can be a very beautiful vine, though it has not done well for me for some reason.
I planted mine from seed and very late, but it has finally taken off. I’m hoping for blooms soon.
Lovely! You just can’t beat a large drift of such vibrant blooms. I planted her here last year and she has already doubled, maybe one day I’ll have as many as you.xxx
Just keep your dogs from trampling them!
I’ve always been confused about whether the common name for Rudbeckia was “brown-eyed susan” or “black-eyed susan;” thank you for clearing that up. I confess that I have a real weakness for the green-eyed varieties.
I think those are usually R. hirta.