“All Eyes on Rudbeckia”


A member of the coneflower/Rudbeckia family and widely recognized across prairies and gardens, Black-eyed Susans get their name for the raised, dark central discs contrasted with bright yellow petals. They were introduced into Europe soon after Columbus’s visits and were named by Linnaeus in 1753. Linnaeus gave them the Latin name Rudbeckia Hirta after his mentor Olaf Rudbeck and hirta meaning rough, hairy. They reach 30 inches and prefer to sprawl, and stems are indeed rough and hairy with large ovate green leaves.

This flower symbolizes encouragement, like its community member Goldenrod. Native to western North America, the Black-eyed Susan’s spread eastward began in the 1830’s when it was accidentally mixed with clover and hayseed bound for the eastern United States. Once introduced in the new locations, it thrived very well and is now found throughout much of North America. A source cites: “Even though it is not native to the State of Maryland, the Black-eyed Susan (R. hirta) was adopted as that state’s flower in 1918. Every year the Pimblico racecourse in Baltimore, Maryland hosts the Preakness, which is the second leg of horseracing’s Triple Crown. The race is also known as “The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans”, where the winning horse is presented with a blanket made of the striking yellow and black flowers.”

One ethnobotanical source cites: “Flower petals were ground up and made into a soup or tea and used for some digestive and cardiovascular problems, and given to children with worms. As a wash, it was used on snakebites, burns, open wounds, and swelling caused by worms. A tincture of the root was used for earaches.”

Original mixed media on raw stretched canvas with maple float frame.

Framed Size: 25x37x2(inches)

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