Rudbeckia triloba (Brown-eyed Susan)
|Also known as:||Three-lobed Coneflower|
|Life cycle:||annual, short-lived perennial|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; moist soil; low woods, thickets, disturbed soil|
|Bloom season:||July - October|
|Plant height:||1 to 5 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FACU MW: FACU NCNE: FACU|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Flowers are deep golden yellow, daisy-like, 1 to 2 inches across, held in widely branched open clusters. Flowers have 6 to 13 rays (petals) that are oval to round, with several small notches at the tips. The center disk is dark purple brown, round to almost conical.
Leaves and stems:
Leaves are 2 to 4 inches long, ½ to 2 inches wide, dark green, thin and rough on both surfaces, covered in bristly hairs to varying degrees. Lower leaves are largest, stalked and often three-lobed; upper leaves and bracts are smaller, lance elliptic, sharply pointed with fine teeth or smooth edges. Stems are bristly hairy and usually reddish-green. Mature plants take on a bushy appearance from many branching stems.
While a Minnesota species of special concern in the wild from loss of habitat to agriculture and invasive species, Brown-eyed Susan flourishes in gardens across the state. One of the best cut flowers around it can last for weeks in a kitchen vase. While the flowers may be similar to Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), though smaller, the leaves and overall plant structure make them easy to distinguish.
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Photos by K. Chayka taken at Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park, Anoka County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in a private garden in Anoka County..
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?