Solo Build It! Case Studies

Black Eyed Susan Flowers
Members Of Composite Family

The black eyed susan is a flowering plant in the composite family.  Composite, is the common name for a large family of flowering plants.  The scientific name for this family is Asteraceae or Compositae.

The family consists of more than 20,000 species of herbs and shrubs.  

These plants are found throughout the world and in most climates and habitats.  The flowers consist of several to many florets arranged on a head.

If you take a close look at this picture, you can see the tiny flowers clustered around it's brown center.  This is a common trait of composite flowers.

I was surprised at the many flowers that make up this family.  Some of them you would never think of as falling into the daisy family of flowers.  Ageratums, Aricas, Asters, Black-eyed susans, Blazing stars, Bonesets, Calendulas, Chicory, Chrysanthemums, Compass plants, Coneflowers, Cosmos, Dahlias, Daisies, Dandelions, Fleabanes, Gailardias, Goldenrods, Marigolds, Sunflowers, Thistles, Tickseeds, and Zinnias are all members of the composite family.  You will find most of these flowers in the  Daisy Pictures section.

Let's Explore These Lovely Black Eyed Susan
Wild Flowers Gone Domestic

Black eyed susan flowers planted with ornamental grassesBlack-Eyed Susan And Tall Grasses

In plants of the composite family, each flower head is a composite of many small flowers surrounded by a cup like cluster of modified leaves called bracts.  From a distance, the flower head resembles a single large flower.

A daisy, for example, has an outer ring of long, white ray flowers that look like individual petals, and a yellow center of many tightly packed, tube-shaped disk flowers.  A thistle head has only disk flowers, and all the flowers of a dandelion head are ray-like.

Complementory Black Eyed Susan Pictures

You may call the black eyed Susan a yellow daisy.  It is a small wild flower with orange-yellow rays and purple-black, cone-shaped centers.  These flowers grow in dry fields and along roads from Northern Mexico to Southern Canada. There are lots of locations to get black eyed susan pictures.

One flower grows on each stem, and a plant may have many stems.  The leaves are stiff and hairy, arranged alternately on the stem.  These showy flowers bloom from May to October.  

They are hard to pick without pulling up the entire plant because the stems are tough.  For this reason, it is best to carry your cutters with you if you want to make an arrangement for your table. Then you can get your own black eyed susan pictures to share with the world.

Black-Eyed Susan Flowers Started Out as Wild Flowers

black-eyed susan began their life as seeds from wildflowersThey started out as visitors to decorate tables in the new world

Even though the black-eyed susan is considered a wild flower, many people grow them in their gardens.  

So very many of the wildflowers or "weeds" as many prefer calling them came to the Eastern shores of America from Europe, and marched farther and farther west year by year.  So it is only fair that Black-Eyed Susan, a native of Western clover fields, should travel toward the Atlantic in bundles of hay whenever she gets the chance.

This quote from the book "Wildflowers Worth Knowing" tells the story with grace.

"Do these gorgeous heads know that all our showy rudbeckias--some with orange red at the base of their ray florets--have become prime favorites of late years in European gardens, so offering them still another chance to overrun the Old World,to which so much American hay is shipped?"

Beautiful Daisies in Back Yard GardenThese lovely Flowers Enjoy Backyard Garden

So it would seem these georgous beauties made their way east traveling in hay bales.  Can you imagine the disgruntled farmers and at the same time the shining eyes of the women settlers as they saw the beauty in these flowers?

Even so it would seem it took growing these plants in European gardens to bring to American's attention the benefit these flowers carry in their beauty.

Did you know that at one time there were actually laws against weeds?  Some states actually tried to pass laws to stop the growing of these "weeds".  Not just the black eyed susan, I'm sure, but any weed that might interfere with the real business of farming.

If you have ever had a flower vase that included black-eyed susan flowers on your table, you will soon discover why they are also a favorite of many insects too.

Insects That Love These Flowers

  • Bees,
  • wasps,
  • flies,
  • butterflies,
  • and beetles

Though it may take long slender tongues of these insects to reach, there is an abundance of pollen available to all.  One look around the base of these flowers will reveal this abundance of pollen.  Even so, her beauty far outways the need to dust a little more often, that is unless you are prone to allergies.  In that case a vase of carnations may be more to your liking.

You can be certain, the black eyed susan flower is here to stay.  In 1918, Maryland adopted them as itÂ’s state flower. Now how is that for a show of appreciation?

Black-Eyed Susan Flowers Are Known by Several Names:

  • Black-Eyed Susan;
  • Yellow or Ox-Eye Daisy;
  • Nigger-head;
  • Golden Jerusalem;
  • Purple Cone-flower 

Their botanical name is Rudbeckia hirta.  I wonder where in the world these scientific names come from, don't you?

Notice the flower-heads in this picture have 10 to 20 orange-yellow neutral rays around a conical, dark purplish-brown disk of florets containing both stamens and pistil. Stamens are where the pollen comes from and the pistil is where the seeds are found.

The stems of  Black-Eyed Susan flowers are normally 1 to 3 feet tall, hairy, and rough.  They are usually unbranched, which means each stem holds a single flower.

Notice the shape of the leaves.  They are oblong like little spears with a few notches here and there.  The wildflowr version of is not quite as thick as the more domesticated ones.

These beautiful flowers prefer open sunny places and dry fields. They have a flowering season from May to September sometimes as late as even October.  They can be found as far north as Canada and I have seen them as far south as Virginia.  But they grow as far south as Mexico.

Folk Medicine of Black-Eyed Susan Flower

The roots of black-eyed susan (rudbeckia hirta) have been used in a warm infusion to wash on sores and snake bites.

They are also used to make medicinal drinks for treating colds and worms in children.  And ooze from the roots have been used as drops for earaches.

If you are looking for even more free creations by Sally, this is the place you will find them. You'll find hundreds that are free to use today. I update and add more regularly. So even if you've been here before, you might want to check it out again.

You may be wondering what you are aloud to do with these free photos. I do have a page that gives you full instructions. Check out terms of use here.... You'll find a link code there to use when publishing these images to another website.

If you want, come back and tell me where you have used the photos. I enjoy seeing where my photos go. In the mean time feel free to download the pictures you will find throughout Creations by Sally.

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