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Rudbeckia hirta flower closeup.jpg
Rudbeckia hirta
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribe: Heliantheae
Subtribe: Rudbeckinae
Genus: Rudbeckia
L. 1753 not Adans. 1763 (Combretaceae)
Type species
Rudbeckia hirta

Rudbeckia /rʌdˈbɛkiə/[4] is a plant genus in the sunflower family.[5][6] 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 0.5–3.0 m tall, with simple or branched stems. The leaves are spirally arranged, entire to deeply lobed, and 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.

A large number of species have been proposed within Rudbeckia, but most are now regarded as synonyms of the limited list given below.

Several currently accepted species have several accepted varieties. Some of them (for example the black-eyed susan, R. hirta), are popular garden flowers distinguished for their long flowering times. Many cultivars of these species are known.

Rudbeckia species are eaten by the caterpillars of some Lepidoptera species including cabbage moths and dot moths.


The name was given by Carolus Linnaeus in honor of his teacher at Uppsala University, Professor Olof Rudbeck the Younger (1660-1740), and his father Professor Olof Rudbeck the Elder (1630-1702), both of whom were botanists. Rudbeckia is one of at least four genera within the flowering plant family Asteraceae whose members are commonly known as coneflowers; the others are Echinacea, Dracopis, and Ratibida.


Accepted species[3][7][8][9]
  1. Rudbeckia alpicola Piper – showy coneflower - Cascades in Washington
  2. Rudbeckia auriculata (Perdue) Kral – eared coneflower - Alabama, Georgia, Florida Panhandle
  3. Rudbeckia californica A.Gray – California coneflower - California
  4. Rudbeckia flava T.V.Moore - Colorado, Wyoming
  5. Rudbeckia fulgida Aiton – orange coneflower - eastern USA + Canada, Texas to Connecticut + Quebec
  6. Rudbeckia glaucescens Eastw. – waxy coneflower - northwestern California, southwestern Oregon
  7. Rudbeckia graminifolia (Torr. & A.Gray) C.L.Boynton & Beadle – grassleaf coneflower - Florida Panhandle
  8. Rudbeckia grandiflora (Sweet) DC. – rough coneflower - mostly east Texas to Missouri; scattered locales from Georgia to Ontario
  9. Rudbeckia heliopsidis Torr. & A.Gray – sunfacing coneflower - Mississippi to Virginia
  10. Rudbeckia hirta L. – black-eyed susan - widespread in USA and Canada
  11. Rudbeckia klamathensis – Klamath coneflower - northwestern California
  12. Rudbeckia laciniata L. – cutleaf coneflower, Green-head Coneflower - widespread in USA + Canada
  13. Rudbeckia maxima Nutt. – great coneflower - mostly east Texas to Missouri
  14. Rudbeckia missouriensis Engelm. ex C.L.Boynton & Beadle – Missouri coneflower - Texas to Illinois; mostly in Ozarks
  15. Rudbeckia mohrii A.Gray – Mohr's coneflower - Florida Panhandle, southern Georgia
  16. Rudbeckia mollis Elliott – softhair coneflower - Florida Panhandle, southern Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina
  17. Rudbeckia montana A.Gray – montane coneflower - Colorado, Utah, Oregon
  18. Rudbeckia newmannii Loudon
  19. Rudbeckia nitida Nutt. – shiny coneflower - Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana
  20. Rudbeckia occidentalis Nutt. – western coneflower - from Colorado to Washington + northern California
  21. Rudbeckia scabrifolia L.E.Br. – roughleaf coneflower - Louisiana, eastern Texas
  22. Rudbeckia speciosa – showy coneflower - eastern USA
  23. Rudbeckia subtomentosa Pursh – sweet coneflower - mostly Mississippi Valley
  24. Rudbeckia texana (Perdue) P.B.Cox & Urbatsch – Texas coneflower - Louisiana, eastern Texas
  25. Rudbeckia triloba L. – Brown-eyed Susan - from eastern Texas to Quebec; isolated locales in Colorado and Utah
Formerly included[7]


Many species are used in prairie restorations, for ornamental use, and by livestock for forage. An abundance of these plants on a rangeland indicates good health.They are deer and rabbit resistant[10].


  1. ^ lectotype designated by N. L. Britton et A. Brown, Ill. Fl. N.U.S. ed. 2. 3: 469 (1913)
  2. ^ Tropicos, Rudbeckia L.
  3. ^ a b Flann, C (ed) 2009+ Global Compositae Checklist
  4. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995: 606–607.
  5. ^ Linnaeus, Carl von. 1753. Species Plantarum 2: 906-907 in Latin
  6. ^ Flora of North America
  7. ^ a b "Species Records of Rudbeckia". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2010-06-05.
  8. ^ "Rudbeckia". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 5 June 2010.
  9. ^ Biota of North America Program 2013 county distribution maps
  10. ^

External links[edit]