One of the natives that makes mid-to-late summer so colorful in my garden is Rudbeckia triloba. I believe this is also called "brown-eyed Susan" but common names are so fickle.
This is a banner year for R. triloba in my garden, surprisingly. This plant reseeds readily and seedlings pop up in every bed it seems, but the deer really love eating this. So every spring I let more of these plants grow than I should, knowing that many will be eaten.
For some reason the deer stopped eating these in early summer, and the chomped plants all recovered, even going a bit wild.
This is especially apparent on the south side of the house...
...which is a sea of yellow right now!
Less obvious at the stream...
...but the blooms add some nice but not overwhelming color to the area.
These are only growing in my garden because of my enthusiasm as a beginning gardener about 15 years ago or so. Driving along a busy road nearby I saw these wonderful plants full of what looked like tiny black-eyed Susan flowers at the edge of a mowed strip next to woods. I pulled into a nearby park entrance and walked back to the plants, where I collected some seeds. I did not expect to have dozens and dozens of these beauties growing in my garden in the future!
The birds like these seed heads, and there will be plenty of them this year! I'll have even more seedlings next year -- I guess I'll be pulling more of them.
There's another bunch of these growing at the driveway in the front garden...
...and that's where I'll end today.
Rusbeckia triloba is not a small plant, but those cheerful little blooms just can't be beat!
Anybody else growing this?
Missouri Botanical Garden lists this as a biennial or short-lived perennial, but I'm pretty sure mine bloom the first year. ??