ARTICLE: Time for a Black Eye

Which Black Eyed Susan is Which? 

Do you want a black eye? Black eyed Susan, that is. Or is that a brown eyed Susan? The other day someone asked me how to differentiate this group of plants that, at first glance, look so much alike. Today, I will attempt to tackle that question here. 

Those who know me know that I get really frustrated with common names for plants. Depending on where you live, the name black eyed Susan is used for a number of different yellow flowers with a dark center. The most common ones, at least here in southern Ontario, are Rudbeckia hirta (which I call black eyed Susan), Rudbeckia triloba (brown eyed Susan) and Rudbeckia fulgida (orange coneflower). However, these plants also come with a lot of other names that you might know them by, just to keep things confusing. For example: 

Rudbeckia hirta (Black Eyed Susan) is also called Bristly Coneflower, Brown Betty, Brown-eyed Susan, Common Black-eyed Susan, English Bull’s Eye, Gloriosa Daisy, Golden Jerusalem, Poor-land Daisy, Yellow Daisy and Yellow Ox-eye Daisy. 

Rudbeckia fulgida (Orange Coneflower) is also known as Black Eyed Susan, Brilliant Coneflower, Brown Eyed Susan, Orange Rudbeckia, Perennial Black-eyed Susan, Showy Black-eyed Susan and Showy Coneflower. 

PLANT OF THE MONTH: Helianthus tuberosus

Posted on  by ridgetownrick

Fall is a time of food harvesting, and a few of our native plants have provided tasty nutrition for humans for hundreds if not thousands of years. One such plant is a member of the sunflower family, noted not for its sunflower seeds (of which it rarely produces any) but for its delicious roots. That plant is Helianthus tuberosus – the Jerusalem Artichoke. 

Common Name:  Jerusalem Artichoke 

Scientific Name: Helianthus tuberosus 

Family: Asteraceae (Aster Family) 

Alternate Common Names: Canada Potato, Earth-apple, Girasole, Sunchoke, Sunflower Artichoke, Sunroot, Tuberous Sunflower 

Plant description: Jerusalem Artichoke has upright, rigid stems that are light green to reddish brown in colour and are covered in stiff hairs. The stems are unbranched except for towards the top where the flowers are found. Shallowly toothed leaves occur in an opposite arrangement on the lower part of the plant and become alternate as they ascend the stem.


The Northeast Native Plant Primer: 235 Plants for an Earth-Friendly Garden

By Uli Lorimer

A beautiful but brief synopsis of native trees, shrubs, vines, wildflowers, ferns, grasses, sedges and rushes suitable for gardens in the northeastern US and southeastern Canada (from the Maritimes through southern Quebec and into southern Ontario). I’ll start by saying that the quality of the book and the images is fabulous – just what I’d expect from Timber Press. I love just looking at the pictures. Unfortunately, at least from a serious native plant gardener perspective, that’s about where it ends.

Other Random Stuff

Coming soon!