The interesting thing about Rudbeckia – commonly known around here as Black Eyed Susan – is that, although native, it’s not terribly drought tolerant. Without a regular watering, or regular rain, the leaves wither, the flower stems droop, the flowers stay small and shriveled. I’ve had large patches just turn to dust some summers.
Come mid summer, I often need to ration the well water – making sure there’s enough for showers, cooking and dishes and using it sparingly in the garden, usually on the tomatoes. Ornamental annuals and even perennials need to fend for themselves. Since we seem to be in the middle of a mini drought I thought I should snip some Rudbeckia while they’re still half decent looking. I have two species – hirta and fulgida. My eye can’t distinguish the flowers but their habit is quite different. The R. hirta has many flowers branching off a single stalk, while R. fuldiga tends to have a single flower atop its stem. I think I have that right!
The taller daisy-like flower is Ratibida pinnata – Prairie Coneflower, or grey head coneflower. It self seeds EVERYWHERE here! I also have three white spires from an unusual native perennial – Canadian Burnet – Sanguisorba canadensis. In nature it’s found in boggy areas, which I can’t provide, yet it’s adapted quite well to my wet spring, very dry summer garden. Plus a few sprigs of a peach snapdragon, just because. The vase is a jar found during an excavation about 20 years ago in Toronto. I like its art deco feel.
Thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting the Monday In A Vase meme – her site is loaded with vases from around the world!