(In progress) “Mystery” plant; rudbeckias

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After nearly three weeks, one of my “mystery” plant’s seeds has sprouted! Of the four which I’d sowed, three of them didn’t sprout, and when I dug them out to throw them away, I found them infested with fruit fly maggots. So…

And while my rudbeckias did germinate, they seem to grow oh-so-slowly, until I’m getting rather impatient…

"Mystery" plant's seed has sprouted!

Rudbeckia 'toto rustic'

Rudbeckia 'toto rustic'

Rudbeckia hirta 'cherry brandy'

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(Seed sowing) Three Susans with slightly different names

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I decided to try growing black-eyed susans again, since I wanted to ‘prettify’ my garden with flowers, yet have the flowers belong to plants which can be used (that is, consumed as a herb or vegetable or something).

Since I have about four types of rudbeckias and I’ve successfully grown the rudbeckia hirta ‘rustic colors’, I thought that it was time to challenge myself with the rest.

Sown were five to six seeds of the toto, moreno, and ‘toto rustic’ strains in each pot. The first two were bought from Far East Flora along Thomson Road; the last was given to me kindly by The Curious Gardener (thank you, CG!).

Now, let’s see which ones sprout the quickest, or if they even sprout at all.

(Photography) Black-eyed susan flower head and harvested seeds

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One of the four of my rudbeckia flowers on one plant has started to turn brown and wilt over a week ago. But it was only these few days that the stalk started to turn brown and wilt too. I think that this signified that the flowerhead has matured, and that the seeds can be harvested.

I sure hope that I’ve harvested the right things at the right time. I should try to sow a few seeds to see if they’re viable or not.

If any readers can tell me if they think those are really seeds, I’d be most appreciative.

Flowerhead and seeds

The other side

(Photography) Another black-eyed susan

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I saw this at a nursery and just had to get it. I have no exact scientific name for it though. Just hope my dad doesn’t kill it (again).

(Photography) Black-eyed susan flower

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(Photography) Black-eyed susan – flower a few days later

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(Black-eyed susan) Flower

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The opened flower.

(Gardening happy) Rudbeckia flower forming

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Such a pretty little thing. =)

(Growing conditions) Black-eyed susans

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The rudbeckia is one of my favorite plants, mainly because of its leaves, which hold fine hairs that turn slightly more bristly with age, but which are like soft down when the leaves are young.

I got this plant to replace echinacea so that I could use the roots when I got the flu or cough. But then, I grew so in love with the leaves and the flowers I couldn’t bear to use it at all. So now, here it is, sitting prettily in my room.

The Plants for a Future database says this: An infusion of the roots has been used in the treatment of colds, dropsy and worms in children. A warm infusion of the root has been used as a wash on sores and snake bites. The ooze from the roots has been used as drops to treat earaches.

This plant prefers bright shade to direct sunlight as long as it has grown a little older. If its shoots are still young and tender, strong sunlight tends to burn the leaves.

It is advised to cut off the first one or two forming flower stalks when the plant is still too young so as to channel the energy into growing the plant first.

Care: A moist, well-draining soil mix; allow soil to dry out between watering; drought tolerant once established
Sunlight: Preferably one hour of morning sun, and bright shade the rest of the day; once the plant is established, then as much direct sunlight as possible
Propagation: Easily by seeds and root division
Resources: Plants for a Future database

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