Rudbeckia Sullivanti Goldsturm Is the Dependably Perennial Black-Eyed Susan Where I Live


When I was a child at camp, I first began to notice the native Black-Eyed Susans. I loved their wild and free behavior and asked that my friends and family go out and pick them to become part of my wedding flowers. This was not a simple request. The almost wild, perennial, Black-Eyed Susans prefer their native habitats to that of being plucked, shoved into vases, and brought inside. [I think that nature was speaking to me on my wedding day; I must admit that I exhibit the same behavior. ]. The true Black-Eyed Susan is a flower that begs you to love it as it is–out in the woods, along the roadside, and/or in a meadow–Free.

Sunflowers look like giant Black-eyed Susans, and I paint my impressions of sunflowers and rudbeckias every year. Black-eyed Susans are natural and free, and that freedom is what I want to capture in my art.

(Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’)

Rudbeckia Goldsturm — is the true Black-Eyed Susan that I loved as a child.

In the dappled, filtered light of a woodland, Goldsturm’s stems are spindly and its leaves are almost blade-like. Its greenery is just strong enough to hold the rather large flowers. While the Goldsturm is not as showy as the rudbeckias that one might buy commerically when established, it is the true garden winner and will adorn the hot summer garden year after year.


Rudbeckia hirta Indian Summer

Rudbeckia hirta Indian Summer – a Hirta Rudbeckia with its erect, thicker stems, more dense flowers, and larger, fuller leaves might appear to be the stronger, more desirable of the two types of Black-Eyed Susans, but Indian Summer is rather like a Four-Flusher in Poker.  For a brief show, he puffs out his chest and struts proudly.  Then, he just fizzles.

11702701_10207114737929919_3079508673196691227_nRudbeckia hirta Cappuccino

Rarely returning after its first year, Indian Summer and other Hirtas behave more like annuals than perennials.  At best, the Hirtas may reseed and return as biennials–yet, I have not witnessed this in my garden.

Rudbeckia General Information:

“Rudbeckia hirta are wonderful, free flowering daisies in colors from yellow through bronze and mahogany. You can have them for years, but the original plants will only last a few seasons. But wait! The plants self-seed readily, and if you learn to recognize the slightly hairy seedlings and allow a few to develop where you want them, you can have as many as you want for many years.”

– See more at:

©Jacki Kellum May 24, 2017

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Now I know why my black-eyed Susans disappeared so quickly.

    Your post made me think of the following folk song. The lyrics change depending on who posts them on the Internet.

    Black Eyed Susie

    I love my wife, I love my baby
    I like my biscuits sopped in gravy

    Hey, black-eyed Susie
    Hey, pretty little black-eyed Susie, Hey

    All I want in this creation
    Pretty little wife and a big plantation
    Up red oak and down salt water
    Some old man gonna lose his daughter

    * Refrain

    Susie and the boys went huckleberry pickin’
    The boys got drunk and Susie got a lickin’
    Some got drunk and some got boozy
    But I made love to black-eyed Susie

    * Refrain

    All I need to make me happy
    Is two little boys to call me pappy
    One named Paul, the other one Davy
    One likes ham and the other one gravy

    * Refrain

    1. jackikellum says:

      I love this. I never heard it before

    1. jackikellum says:

      Thank you very much.

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