The sheer exuberance of these black-eyed susan took my breath away. More gold than than the shiniest gold bars, with the contrasting black/brown centers seems like something a painter would design rather than nature. I came across this clump of rudbeckia in nearby La Crescenta, California, just up the street from Descanso Gardens.

Interesting Plant: Rudbeckia Interesting Plant: Rudbeckia Interesting Plant: Rudbeckia


Rudbeckia /rʌdˈbɛkiə/[1] is a plant genus of 23 species in the family Asteraceae.[2] The species are commonly called coneflowers and black-eyed-susans; all are native to North America and many species are cultivated in gardens for their showy yellow or gold flower heads.

The species are herbaceous, mostly perennial plants (some annual or biennial) growing to 0.5–3 m tall, with simple or branched stems. Theleaves are spirally arranged, entire to deeply lobed, 5–25 cm long. The flowers are produced in daisy-like inflorescences, with yellow or orange florets arranged in a prominent, cone-shaped head; “cone-shaped” because the ray florets tend to point out and down (are decumbent) as the flower head opens.” . —

More information on Rudbeckia:

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Previously in the Interesting Plant series: 

Interesting Plant is a series from A Gardener’s Notebook blog and podcast that highlights the most interesting plants I find in my Internet and real-world travels — Douglas