Monday, June 15, 2009

Black-eyed Susan

Black-Eyed Susan
Rudbeckia hirta (Asteraceae)

A stiff, upright annual or short lived perennial native to the eastern United
States, but has become endemic throughout North America. The Black-Eyed Susan is probably the most common of all American wildflowers. The characteristic brown,
domed center is surrounded by bright yellow ray florets. Thrives in most soils
in full sun. A true sunshine worshiper that forgives neglect.

You would think, this many years in an armed with lens, I would have made this observation before... but this is the first year I have taken in the floral progression of the Black-eyed Susan. As is, each Susan is really a colony of flowers (arranged on a growing "hill" and found on a single stem. The yellow ring of petals are really not "petals" but xxxx. The real petals belong to the individual mini-flowers that make up the entire "black eye."

Note how the earliest ring of mini-flowers begins at the base, then climbs upward, even as the flower mound grows.

More as I find out the right words.

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