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BellaOnline's English Garden Editor

Black-Eyed Susan or Coneflower

This lovely plant has large,golden-yellow,daisy-like flowers and is sometimes called the Gloriosa Daisy.
The blooms can be 15in or 12cm across and they have cone-shaped, dark-brown centres.

Orginally from North America where it has been the state flower of Maryland since 1918, it is now very common in many English Gardens.

It is great for autumn colour as it blooms from August to October and looks stunning when planted in bold drifts with other late summer-flowering perennials.< br> It goes well with Michaelmas Daisies , Echinacea purpurea and Verbena

Black eyed Susan is a hardy annual, and will flower until the first frosts.
It grows up to 3' (1 metre) tall and it will thrive in just about any climate as it copes well in sun or partial shade.
(Though it will do better in a sunny spot).

Plant your seed in March or April in pots in a greenhouse or cold frame. Plant out in May or June.

It prefers moderately fertile, but well-drained soil and is easy to grow from seed and will readily self-seed.

Black-eyed Susan is also good as a cut flower.
Watch out for the many different varieties
Try the dwarf ones if your space is limited such as Becky Mixed - ideal for hanging baskets
Or try Rudbeckia hirta Green Eyes which has olive green centers
Why not plant Prairie Sun massed in the border for a dramatic effect.

There are several perennials in the family so you could try Rudbeckia fulgida Goldsturm which grows to about 2-1/2 feet tall
Or Rudbeckia lanciniata Goldquelle a lovely tall perenial that gets to 4 or 6 feet!

In the language of flowers it means justice

This plant should not be confused with the tropical African climbing plant also called Black eyed Susan (vine) - Thunbergia alata - which has yellow flowers with a dark purple centre!

Enjoy your garden!

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