Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Black-eyed Susan - Rudbeckia hirta   L.
Members of Asteraceae:
Members of Rudbeckia with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
DistributionNearly statewide, but scarce to absent in the northeastern counties.

Canada south to northern FL, southern TX, and NM.
AbundanceCommon in the Mountains and the western Piedmont; fairly common at best in the rest of the state, except very rare or absent in the northeastern Coastal Plain. Scarce in the Sandhills region.
HabitatDry to mesic soils of fields, wooded openings and margins, powerline clearings, roadsides, meadows, and other disturbed places.
PhenologyBlooms and fruits May-July.
IdentificationThe familiar Black-eyed Susan grows 1-3 feet tall; it is rough-hairy on the stems and leaves. The leaves are very variable, but the basal and lower stem leaves have long petioles. The flowers are few on a plant, with bright golden-yellow rays and a dark brown to purple-brown and conical disk. The very rare Sun-facing Coneflower (R. heliopsidis) has smooth leaves and stem; the common Orange Coneflower (R. fulgida) has more orange-yellow rays and blooms from August to October, usually long after Black-eyed Susan is finished blooming. Though not overly common in the eastern and central parts of the state, it is a very familiar and widespread wildflower of the montane meadows and grassy fields.
Taxonomic CommentsThe species consists of several varieties in NC -- var. hirta, var. pulcherrima, and the apparently non-native var. angustifolia.

Other Common Name(s)None
State RankS5
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpFACU link
USACE-empFACU link
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B.A. SorrieRoadside clearing, NC 211 just E of Aberdeen. 4 July 2021. MoorePhoto_natural
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