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Rudbeckia (hirta)

Joel L. Douglas
USDA NRCS - Coffeeville/Jamie L. Whitten Plant Materials Center
2533 County Road 65
Coffeeville, Mississippi 38922-2652
(601) 675-2588
(601) 675-2369 (fax)

Family Scientific Name: Asteraceae
Scientific Name: Rudbeckia hirta L.
Common Name: Blackeyed susan
Species Code: RUHI2
General Distribution: Rudbeckia hirta has a fairly wide distribution from Nova Scotia to Florida, west to Manitoba, Colorado and Texas and is commonly found throughout the state of Mississippi. This species prefers a well-drained soil.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Propagules (seeds, cuttings, poles, etc.)
Time To Grow: 0
Propagule Collection: Collected near mile marker 118 and 123 on the Natchez Trace Parkway by PMC personnel/July 1992.
Propagule Processing: Seed Processing: Direct combined and cleaned using an air screen cleaner.
Seeds/Kg: 3,750,000.
Germination: In 1992=87%, in 1993=90%, and in 1994=22%.
Purity: In 1992=57%, in 1993=89%, and in 1994=82%.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Seed Treatments: None required. Seeds germinated in both light and darkness (Andersen, 1968).
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Propagation Environment: Field grown.

Container Type and Volume: Seedlings can be grown in the greenhouse, however, this was not normal practice at the PMC. Small seedlings do not transplant well, so direct sowing in cell packs or possibly larger pots is recommended.

Growing Media: Normal greenhouse growing media can be used, however, the mix must be well drained. Seedlings are very susceptible to damping off or physical rot if overwatered (Phillips, 1985).
Establishment Phase: Sowing Date: August to October.

Emergence and Date: Seeds normally germinate in September or October (see Total Time To Harvest).

Sowing/Planting Technique: Fields were either closely mowed or burned, disked and cultipacked prior to planting. Observations of seed germination in a burned field that was not disked prior to planting showed that germination was delayed compared to a field planted at the same time that was disked. Apparently the ash residue on the surface of the soil inhibited germination. Seeds did not germinate well in a fluf1~j, clean tilled field. Direct sowing was done with a no-till drill using the legume box. Rice hulls were tested for use as a filler; however, the rice hull mixture did not meter through the seed box openings. The meter openings on the box were set between 3 to 5 mm (1/8 and 3/16 inch). Seed was drilled 6 mm (1/4 inch) deep with the furrows left open. Two broadcast seeding methods were also used. Blackeyed susan seeds were mixed with sand as a filler and broadcast with a field fertilizer spreader. Subsequent plantings at the PMC were done using a smaller fertilizer spreader on an all-terrain vehicle and the sand filler was not required. Planting rates used in production fields were 3.35 to 4.48 kilograms PLS per hectare (3 to 4 pounds per acre).

Establishment Phase: Seeds germinate in the fall and plants overwinter as a rosette.
Active Growth Phase: Rapid Growth Phase: Plants begin growth in late February to March. Flowering shoots begin to rapidly elongate in April to May.
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Harvest Date: Mid-July.

Total Time to Harvest: In ideal situations, seeds germinate in the fall and harvest will be approximately 11 months after planting. However, if for some reason seeds do not germinate until the following spring, the phenology of the plants will not be normal. The plants will flower later and will not produce a flush of flowers, so seed harvesting capabilities are limited. When this happens, seeds are left to mature on the plants and the field is mowed to improve stands. Seeds are then harvested in subsequent years.

Seed Storage: Normal cool, dry storage. PMC cooler is maintained at 12.7 C
(55 F).

Seed Dormancy: Seeds have no prolonged dormancy (Phillips, 1985).

Storage Duration: Seeds would be classified as having medium longevity (Hartmann and Kester, 1975). Seeds were stored for 3 to 5 years before planting on the Natchez Trace Parkway.
Length of Storage: <b>Storage Duration: </b> 3-5 years.
Other Comments: Yields of 84 to 112 kg per hectare (75 to 100 lbs. per acre) can be expected from good stands. During NPS production the major forms of weed control used were properly timed mowing and applications of Poast (sethoxydim) to control grassy weeds. Cultivation was unsatisfactory because plants did not tolerate soil deposition around the plant crown. Since that time, a new herbicide Plateau (imazapic) has increased weed control options for this species.
References: Andersen, R. N. 1968. Germination and establishment of weeds for experimental purposes. Weed Science Society of America, W. F. Humphrey Press, Inc., Geneva, NY. 236 p.

Hartmann, H.T. and Kester, D.E. 1975. Plant propagation principles and practices. Prentice-Hall, Inc., Engelwood Cliffs, NJ. 662 p.

Phillips, H.R. 1985. Growing and propagating wildflowers. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC. 330 p.


Grabowski, Janet M.. 2001. Propagation protocol for production of Propagules (seeds, cuttings, poles, etc.) Rudbeckia hirta L. plants USDA NRCS - Coffeeville/Jamie L. Whitten Plant Materials Center Coffeeville, Mississippi. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2020/02/19). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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