Sunday, August 3, 2008

Rudbeckia hirta: flowers

Rudbeckia hirta, known in English as black-eyed Susan, gloriosa daisy, or yellow ox-eye daisy, and in French as Rudbeckie dréssé is a biennial native to most of North America.

These gorgeous flowers grew from seed I received for free from the High Park Nature Centre for Earth Day 2007. I threw them around in the garden but wasn't sure anything had grown until the second year, when suddenly there were big beautiful plants covered in blooms. It's amazing to me that one tiny seed can produce a 40-cm tall plant with 50 flowerheads on it. Each flowerhead lasts a long time; the flowerhead in the foreground, with a flatter centre that's light in the middle, is a younger bloom; as the blossoms age the centres become darker and more conical as seen in the background.

[Photo: Rudbeckia in bloom with nasturtium and hosta.]

Bees love these flowers!

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