Do you recognize this?

Do you know what this is? It's pretty common in my yard, and probably in many other yards and gardens around the area -- probably throughout the country. If you recognized it as a seed head from a Rudbeckia, or "Black-eyed Susan", then you'd be right. Sort of.

Normally I'd say you're definitely right, but right now I'm looking for a different answer. I was actually looking for the answer "a whole garden's full of Rudbeckia seedlings". You don't see it? Is it hard for you to imagine all of those seeds germinating in your yard? Let me help you to visualize it...


How about  now?

The seeds never got a chance to fall, but they still germinated! This probably happens quite often, but I've not seen it before. It really surprised me!

I was doing a little bit of cleanup in the yard:

The Rudbeckia is laying down at the edge of the driveway, at the bottom left corner of the image. It must have been on the ground all winter, and maybe covered in leaves to hide it from the birds.

It's quite amazing to me:

It's a complete ecosystem in miniature, as there's even a small earthworm in there!

Although this was headed for the compost pile, I decided to put it back on the ground where I found it:

It's not like more than a couple of those plants have a chance to make it to a reasonable size, but I thought I'd give them every opportunity. Of course there are probably thousands of those seeds all through my yard right now, and they don't really need help from me.

Incidentally, this is the "after" photo from my cleanup job:

Clearing a lot of the "browns" from my yard is really helping the emerging green to become the focus.

I've often wondered just how many of the seeds from the ubiquitous Black-eyed Susans would germinate in my garden, and now I think I have a good idea: pretty much every single one.


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Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (March 23, 2011 at 9:34 AM)  

This is amazing. I've never seen anything like this. You'd think the wind would have scattered those seeds.

:: Bamboo and More ::

anne  – (March 23, 2011 at 10:55 AM)  

You have a knack for finding wonders of nature! Spring can be the most fun for discovering.

p3chandan  – (March 23, 2011 at 11:03 AM)  

Looking forward to the blooming plants later all over your garden! The seeds germinating on the seed head is so amazing!

Liz  – (March 23, 2011 at 11:40 AM)  

That is cool. I wonder what will happen--will the seedling actually root, or just out compete each other?

Ali  – (March 23, 2011 at 3:21 PM)  

That's really special Alan, and the earthworm really lends it a little ecosystem feeling... I often notice when I cut into a tomato that one or more of its little seeds has germinated while sitting inside it. Nature has got smarts.

Karin / Southern Meadows  – (March 23, 2011 at 6:32 PM)  

Wow! That is really an interesting find!! I hope some of those seeds will grow for you and provide more great blooms this summer.

Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens  – (March 23, 2011 at 7:06 PM)  

All rudbeckias tend to be pretty good germinators but I was intrigued to see them germinating still on the seed head. What a nice surprise to see something trulu fascinating like that, and your garden looks very nice now too.

Beth at PlantPostings  – (March 23, 2011 at 8:51 PM)  

This is a wonderful post. It really made my day. I was feeling down about the extra shot of wintry weather we're getting and then I opened your post and witnessed nature in all its glory. I'll have to check my Rudbeckias when the weather lifts. Thanks!

Alan  – (March 24, 2011 at 7:02 AM)  

I expect none of those seedlings to survive, but there will be several other seedlings here from regular "dropped" seeds too. My yard will have no shortage of Rudbeckia. In fact, that's my critter strategy with these: have so many that the rabbits and deer can't eat them all!

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