The lively orange and black heads of these thrifty, conspicuous flowers seem to accelerate the grandeur of our fields and meadows from May to September, where they flaunt their Princeton colours with a vigour that the farmer beholds with contempt, because he cannot capitalize their beauty along with his hay. The slender, hairy stems are tough, usually unbranched, sparingly leaved, and grow from one to three feet high. Often several stems occur in a tuft. The long, narrow, pointed leaves have a rough, hairy surface, and partly clasp the stem. They have a strong midrib, are rather loose-textured, and the margins are frequently slightly notched with low teeth. The flower heads are few or solitary. The tiny disc florets are densely packed in a purple brown, cone-shaped head, that has a smooth, silky sheen when newly opened. They are surrounded at the base with from ten to twenty long, narrow, orange-yellow rays. They are notched at the tips, and have two faint parallel veins running their length. The flower head is supported with an overlapping, triple-rowed, green mat, which terminates the stem. They are found in dry, open, sunny fields, from Canada to Florida, Colorado, and Texas.
BLACK-EYED SUSAN. Rudbeckia Birta.