Brown-eyed Susan Rudbeckia triloba 'Prairie Glow'
Rudbeckia triloba 'Prairie Glow' is often known by its common name, brown-eyed Susan. This appealing perennial boasts a vibrant display of warm-colored flowers. Each bloom features a dark brown, almost black, central cone surrounded by petals that radiate outwards in stunning shades of fiery red, orange, and yellow, giving the impression of a glowing sunset. The petals are typically oval-shaped with serrated edges, and their tips might be slightly reflexed, adding depth and texture to the flower's visual appeal. The rich and bold hues often have variable patterns, which creates a delightful mosaic of colors within the plant's blossoms. The foliage consists of green, ovate to lance-shaped leaves, which can be slightly hairy and have a rough texture. These leaves grow densely and are arranged alternately on sturdy stems that branch out, giving the plant a full and bushy appearance. Brown-eyed Susan 'Prairie Glow' creates a striking display, bringing a burst of late summer to early fall color to any planting area.
About this plant
Brown-Eyed Susan, Three-Lobed Coneflower, Thin-Leaved Coneflower, Branched Coneflower, Brown Betty, Gloriosa Daisy, Golden Glow.
Brown-eyed Susan is not listed as a toxic plant to humans. Most parts of the plant are considered non-toxic, and there is no well-documented evidence of poisoning from ingesting this plant. Therefore, consumption of any part of the Brown-eyed Susan is not expected to cause significant or severe symptoms in humans.
Brown-eyed Susan is also not listed as a toxic plant to pets including dogs and cats. There is no documented toxicity of this plant to domestic animals; thus, ingestion of any part of the Brown-eyed Susan is not likely to cause poisoning or serious health consequences in pets. However, as with any non-food plant, consumption in large amounts might cause mild gastrointestinal upset due to irritation or the plant's fibrous nature.
Color of leaves
3-4 feet (0.91-1.22 meters)
1-3 feet (0.30-0.91 meters)
- General Benefits
- Attracts Pollinators: Encourages bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects to visit the garden.
- Drought Tolerant: Can survive in dry conditions once established, making it suitable for water-wise gardens.
- Long Blooming Period: Provides colorful flowers from midsummer to fall, adding vibrancy for an extended time.
- Low Maintenance: Requires minimal care, making it ideal for gardeners of all levels.
- Deer Resistant: Less likely to be damaged by deer, protecting the aesthetic appeal of your garden.
- Easy to Grow: Adaptable to a range of soil types and conditions, ensuring successful growth in many settings.
- Attractive Seed Heads: Offers visual interest even after blooms have faded, with seed heads that can be left for winter texture.
- Landscape Versatility: Can be used in borders, wildflower meadows, or as cut flowers, offering flexibility in design.
- Native Plant Benefits: As a native species, it supports local ecosystems and biodiversity.
- Self-sowing: Capable of reseeding itself, which can ensure a continuous presence without additional planting.
- Medical Properties
This plant is not used for medical purposes.
- Air-purifying Qualities
This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.
- Other Uses
- Dye Production: The flowers and seed heads of the Brown-eyed Susan can be used to produce natural dyes for textiles, imparting shades of yellow, green or brown depending on the mordant used.
- Photography Subject: The striking appearance of 'Prairie Glow' Brown-eyed Susan makes it a favorite subject for photographers, especially during the golden hour when its colors are particularly vibrant.
- Craft Projects: Dried flowers of the Brown-eyed Susan can be used in homemade potpourri blends or incorporated into wreaths and floral arrangements for rustic decor.
- Companion Planting: Brown-eyed Susan can be planted among vegetables as a companion plant to attract pollinators and beneficial insects to the garden.
- Educational Tool: Schools and educational programs can use the easily-grown Brown-eyed Susan to teach children about plant lifecycles and pollinator attraction.
- Seasonal Festivities: The warm hues of the Brown-eyed Susan's flowers complement autumn themes and can be used in decorations for events like harvest festivals or Thanksgiving.
- Ecological Studies: As a native species, the Brown-eyed Susan is important for ecological studies on pollinator plants and wildlife gardening efficiency.
- Animal Enrichment: In zoos or wildlife preserves, non-toxic parts of the Brown-eyed Susan could be used as enrichment for plant-eating animals, offering them new textures and tastes.
- Bioindicator: Brown-eyed Susan can serve as a bioindicator species in restoration projects, indicating the health of the restored area by its growth and reproduction success.
- Artistic Inspiration: Artists may use the form and color of the Brown-eyed Susan as inspiration for paintings, illustrations, and other visual art pieces.
- Feng Shui
The Brown-eyed Susan is not used in Feng Shui practice.
- Zodiac Sign Compitability
The Brown-eyed Susan is not used in astrology practice.
- Plant Symbolism
- Hope: The 'Prairie Glow' Brown-Eyed Susan's bright flowers are often associated with hope, reminiscent of the sun shining down and providing energy to all life.
- Justice: In floriography, a Brown-Eyed Susan can symbolize justice, possibly due to its upright growth and the way it boldly faces the sun.
- Encouragement: The vibrant colors of the Brown-Eyed Susan are said to be encouraging, giving a sense of motivation and inspiration to those who gaze upon it.
- Protection: Native American tribes believed that Brown-Eyed Susan flowers could ward off negative spirits and were often used in traditional ceremonies for protection.
Brown-eyed Susan prefers consistently moist soil; it should be watered thoroughly once a week, allowing the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings. During hot or windy weather, the plants may need additional water. Water at the base of the plants to avoid wetting the foliage, which can lead to fungal diseases. For established plants, approximately one gallon of water per week per plant should suffice. Adjustments to the watering schedule should be made based on rainfall and specific climate conditions.
Brown-eyed Susans thrive best in full sun, receiving at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. They can also tolerate partial shade, but flowering may be reduced in less light. The ideal spot for this plant is an area that gets bright, unfiltered sunlight throughout most of the day to ensure vigorous growth and a profuse display of blooms.
Brown-eyed Susan can withstand a wide range of temperatures, but it grows best when daytime temperatures are between 60°F and 70°F. The plant can survive minimum temperatures down to about -30°F once established, making it suitable for many temperate climates. Avoid planting in locations where temperatures can exceed 85°F for extended periods, as this may stress the plant.
Brown-eyed Susan should be pruned to remove faded flowers and encourage further blooming throughout the summer and into fall. Additionally, cut back the plants to about 2-3 inches from the ground level in late fall or early spring. This helps to maintain a tidy appearance and promotes healthy growth for the next season. Pruning is best done after the plants have completely finished flowering.
Brown-eyed Susan 'Prairie Glow' thrives in a well-draining soil mix rich in organic matter with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. A blend of garden loam, peat or compost, and coarse sand or perlite would be ideal.
Brown-eyed Susan 'Prairie Glow' typically doesn't require frequent repotting and can be done every 2-3 years or when it outgrows its current container.
- Humidity & Misting
Brown-eyed Susan 'Prairie Glow' is tolerant of a wide range of humidity levels and does well in average outdoor humidity conditions.
- Suitable locations
Ensure ample light and good air circulation for Brown-eyed Susan.
Place in full sun to partial shade in well-draining soil.
- Life cycle
Brown-eyed Susan 'Prairie Glow' begins its life cycle as a seed, typically germinating in early spring when soil temperatures and moisture levels are conducive to sprouting. The seedling then develops a root system and foliage through spring into early summer, showing its characteristic rosette of leaves. As the plant matures through the summer, it enters the vegetative stage, with stems elongating, leaves expanding, and buds forming at the ends of the branches. Flowering occurs in late summer to early fall, where 'Prairie Glow' displays its vivid yellow to orange-red ray flowers with dark brown-purple centers, followed by the fertilization of flowers if pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, transfer pollen between them. Once fertilized, the flowers produce seeds, which mature later in fall and are dispersed by wind, animals, or human interaction. The plant can die back in winter, depending on the climate, completing its annual cycle, but it may act as a short-lived perennial in some warmer climates, coming back for several years before it completes its life cycle.
Late summer to autumn
Rudbeckia triloba 'Prairie Glow', commonly known as Brown-Eyed Susan, is best propagated by seed. Sowing seeds can be done in early spring, after the threat of frost has passed, directly into the soil where they are to grow. This plant can self-seed prolifically, so in favorable conditions, it may naturally propagate. If you aim for a more controlled propagation or want to start the plant early, sowing seeds indoors in seed-starting mix 6-8 weeks before the last expected frost date is advisable. Seeds should be lightly covered with soil as they require light to germinate. Keep the soil moist and provide plenty of light once the seedlings emerge. After seedlings have grown strong enough and there's no more frost, they can be transplanted outside into their permanent positions.