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July 26th, 2023

Black-Eyed Susan Attracts Butterflies

by R.S. Walsh

Black-eyed Susan (Rudebeckia hirta var.floridana) is a species in the Rudbeckia family found throughout Florida in the sandhills, Flatwoods, and disturbed areas. This wildflower species is characterized by its compound flower head consisting of many long yellow ray florets with a dark brown center. Depending on the conditions this species can perform as a short-lived perennial, biennial, or annual in your south Florida native landscape. The seeds are self-sowing and are adaptable to dry and moist environments, flowering more with regular moisture. Black-eyed Susan prefers rich, well-drained soil, and full sun. This species can grow 1-3’ in height and reach 2’ in width.

This beautiful native species is great for attracting butterflies and other native insect species to one’s landscape. These native bees, wasps, and butterflies are beneficial to creating a balanced ecosystem in your native garden. Planting Rudebeckia in combination with gaillardia, dune sunflower, and coneflower can create a beautiful natural prairie look. This plant can be used as an accent shrub, planted in large swathes or other flowering species to create a mixed blooming garden.

This plant column is a joint effort by all at In The Garden, a Sanibel garden center, located at 3889 Sanibel Captiva Rd, Sanibel, Florida.

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