Maryland's Golden Bloom: The Black-Eyed Susan


The state of Maryland boasts a beautiful and cheerful flower as its official emblem: the Black-Eyed Susan. With its bright yellow petals and dark brown center, this daisy-like wildflower has been a beloved symbol of Maryland since 1918.

The Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) isn't just pretty, it's also resilient. A member of the Asteraceae family, it thrives in meadows, fields, and along roadsides throughout the state. These cheerful blooms brighten the landscape in late summer and early fall, a reliable source of color as the year winds down.

The Black-Eyed Susan's journey to becoming Maryland's official flower is interesting. In the late 19th century, a group of Maryland women felt the state needed a floral emblem. They championed the Black-Eyed Susan, facing some competition from the goldenrod. Ultimately, the Black-Eyed Susan's sunny disposition and its connection to Maryland's colors (black and gold) won the day.

There's more to the Black-Eyed Susan than meets the eye. Its golden center isn't a single flower, but a cluster of tiny florets. These florets provide a feast for pollinators like butterflies and bees. The Black-Eyed Susan is also quite adaptable, growing in various conditions and attracting a variety of wildlife.

This cheerful bloom is a symbol of Maryland's natural beauty and a reminder of the resilience of wildflowers.

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