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FutureStarrBrown eyed susan flower
Rudbeckia triloba is an herbaceous biennial or short-lived perennial with many common names including branched coneflower, thin-leaved coneflower, three lobed coneflower and brown-eyed Susan. It is native to the prairies of the eastern and Midwestern US (New York to Florida, west to Minnesota, Utah and Texas), and is naturalized in open woods and old fields, and on rocky slopes in zones 3(5)-10.
The native Brown-Eyed Susan is a common plant in Illinois, except for some counties in the southern and NW sections of the state (see Distribution Map). Habitats include black soil prairies, prairie remnants along railroads, thickets, savannas, meadows and openings in wooded areas, riverbanks, edges of fens, roadsides, vacant lots, and abandoned fields. Areas with a history of disturbance are preferred, although this plant also occurs in high quality natural areas.Brown-Eyed Susan can be distinguished from similar species by the smaller size of its flowerheads and the smaller number of ray florets per flowerhead. It is usually more tall and bushy than Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan), but it is shorter with fewer lobed leaves than Rudbeckia laciniata (Cutleaf Coneflower). Brown-Eyed Susan is often observed in the eastern range of the tallgrass prairie, but it tends to retreat to wetland or woodland areas further to the west where rainfall amounts are lower and summer temperatures are more extreme.
While a Minnesota species of special concern in the wild from loss of habitat to agriculture and invasive species, Brown-eyed Susan flourishes in gardens across the state. One of the best cut flowers around it can last for weeks in a kitchen vase. While the flowers may be similar to Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), though smaller, the leaves and overall plant structure make them easy to distinguish.Similar species: There are 9 Rudbeckia species in Missouri. Four of the most common are black-eyed Susan (R. hirta) (generally unbranched, one flowerhead at the branch tips to 4 inches across); wild goldenglow (R. laciniata) (to 9 feet tall, green disk, 6–10 yellow rays, deeply lobed leaves with 3–7 lobes); Missouri black-eyed Susan (R. missouriensis) (much like R. hirta but smaller, very hairy, with all but the lowest leaves linear); and sweet coneflower (R. subtomentosa) (hairy, to 6 feet tall, 12–20 yellow rays per head). (Source: mdc.mo.gov)