The yellow petals and dark centers of Black eyed Susans are recognizable across Mississippi today on Southern Gardening.
There are many selections that look great in our gardens and with some the color combinations currently available these are not your grandma’s black eye Susans.
Rudbeckia have received recognition in Mississippi for their landscape and garden performance. In 1999 the Rudbeckia Indian Summer was selected as a Mississippi Medallion winner and is a real show off. The upright stems display the huge flowers. The petal colors are bright and cheery ranging from sunshine yellow to warm oranges at the petal bases. Each flower has a delicious looking rich chocolate brown center cone.
Many Rudbeckia display varying degrees of darker colors at the bases of their flower petals. One selection I think should be in every landscape is Rudbeckia Denver Daisy. The flower petals are a pure bright yellow with variable splotches of dark red at the. Most years Denver Daisy should be considered a tender perennial, maybe even treated as an annual.
A novel Rudbeckia selection is Irish Eyes with its emerald green center cone highlighted by the clear yellow petals. Irish Eyes can grow to three feet tall which is large enough for all to enjoy the pretty five inch diameter flowers.
Rudbeckia are all considered lower maintenance plants, but they need deadheading of the fading flowers to keep the plants blooming all summer long.
The home gardener should take advantage of this summer long blooming by bringing the landscape inside with gorgeous cut Rudbeckia stems. To increase vase life place the cut stems in warm water, about 100F, for about ten minutes. This opens the vascular tissues for better water uptake.
I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.