In June and July, flowers are found along roadsides and in sunny fields - now the face of the fields is painted with blossoms. The woods in spring bore the great burst of early bloom, but now the coming of deep shade in the woods and bright sun in the open has brought the tide of blossoms into the sunshine. Over the uplands and along the country roads, the black-eyed susans gild the countryside.
Rudbeckia hirta L.
June - July. Roadsides, fields, uplands.
Of them all, perhaps, the black-eyed susan is one of the brightest and most colorful, among the best adapted to bouquets and garden use as well as to life in the sunny upland. The fact that it has a merry common name makes it known as a flower of the people who have loved it for generations. As a coneflower, denizen of the prairie, it seems to be unharmed by the coating of roadside dust which does little to dim the orange-yellow splendor of the flowers. The center is hard, a cone-shaped formation of stamens and pistils, purple-black, then studded with yellow pollen as the stamens mature. The leaves and stems are covered with long, stout hairs. These serve to keep the dust from clogging the breathing pores or stomata, which keep the plant alive and functioning properly.
Thin-leaved coneflower or brown-eyed susan (Rudbeckia triloba) looks like a small black-eyed susan. It blooms late in the summer when most black-eyed susans are past their blossoming time, and make- masses of bright yellow and black (lowers along shady road-. The flowers of thin-leaved coneflower are about half the size of Rudbeckia hirta, are held separately on many-branching stems above leaves which are thin, hairy, and vary from a three-lobed form to those which are narrow and unlobed.