Tennessee Smart Yards Native Plants

A comprehensive database of Tennessee native plants

Three-lobed Coneflower, Brown-eyed Susan

Three-lobed Coneflower, Brown-eyed Susan

Rudbeckia triloba

Full to part sun, moderately wet to moderately dry moisture level, prefers rich loam but tolerates some gravel or clay, neutral to slightly alkaline pH.  2-5 feet height, blooms in summer, yellow flowers, re-seeds readily.

Germination Code:  C(30)

Native Region:  Middle and East Tennessee, lightly in West Tennessee

This plant is a biennial or a short-lived perennial.  Can be a little weedy.  Easy to grow.  Drought-tolerant.  Attracts butterflies and birds.


2 responses to “Three-lobed Coneflower, Brown-eyed Susan

  1. joystewart August 6, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    I planted Brown-eyed susan seed on bare ground during spring of last year along with quite a few other species, some from seeds and some from seedlings. During the subsequent summer, I saw that a lot of the seed had germinated, and plants were about a foot tall. Since it behaved as a biennial for me (in northeast Tennessee), I didn’t get full sized, blooming plants until this year. Reading “a little weedy” in the narrative does kind of make me laugh. I have one giant, solid stand of plants. They have shaded and crowded out every other species I put in. On the good side, they are tall (at least 5′), stand up just fine on their own, and have pretty flowers. However, I wanted something besides Brown-eyed susans! I put in a lot of work getting other species started in the same area. So based on my experience with this plant, my advice is to not seed it on bare ground with other species; put it in the ground among other established plants where it will blend in nicely and be an attractive addition to the garden. On the other hand, if you are looking for a colorful, solid stand of something, this is the plant for you. That third photo above is what you will get.

  2. joystewart August 20, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    I thought I would update my comment above. After another year has passed and I have even more experience removing this stuff, my opinion of it has deteriorated even more. If you have even one plant and let it go for a few years, you will have solid stands of it getting larger by the year. I have probably killed off about a hundred plants this summer. I just cut them off low to the ground and immediately paint the cut surface with a tiny paint brush using 50/50 Round-Up concentrate and water. Very effective. I still think they are attractive and in the right place–a large area needing fast coverage that is not too near your house–they would be great, or if you like solid stands of single plants which is certainly an option. However, in small areas where you want a variety of plants, they are just too much unless you keep an eye on them and kill off the extras every couple years. I generally wish I hadn’t planted it.

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