Did you know Rudbeckia spp., also commonly known as black-eyed Susan, attracts the specialist bee, Andrena rudbeckiae, commonly known as Rudbeckia Andrena in our ecoregion 231? Read on.
Name: Rudbeckia hirta
Common: Black-eyed Susans
Zones: Herbaceous perennial
Size: 2-3 feet tall x 1-2 foot wide
Conditions: Sun, medium moisture
Attracts: In ecoregion 231, Rudbeckia spp. also attracts long-horned bees, and is the host plant the checkerspot butterflies, including bordered patch, Chlosyne lacuna, gorgone checkerspot, Chlosyne gorgone, and silverly checkerspot, Chlosyne spp. butterflies.Other coneflower rudbecka flowers attract honey bees.
We believe Back-eyed Susans are the most underutilized plants in the garden. I’m not sure why this is the case. Perhaps it’s because it iso prolific. But we love it in our Teaching Garden. In fact, we have it in most of the visible areas from just about everywhere vantage point. The flowers are over covered with bees, butterflies, and once the they go to seed, the yellow finch go crazy gorging on the seed. It’s always a summertime treat. We don’t recommend cutting back the seed heads, but rather leaving them for the birds. As you probably, know this then reduces the amount of flowers that will continue, so here is a suggestion. Do half. The birds will be happy when they have seed in the summer, and you will be happy to see the BES continuing to bloom, and then, the birds will be happy in the fall too!
While they are prolific, they are not so easy to transplant. Or at least Helen has tried many times. They do OK the next year, but the year of the transplant can be dicy. Keep moist. Before you know it, you’ll be pulling more out to share with friends.
There are several Rudbeckias on the market, and each serves a fun design purpose. Have fun with this old time favorite. There is no reason not to!
On Lindtner honey bee scale of 0 to 5, pollen and nectar content is 1 and 1, respectively.