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For Your Garden - September 2018

Native plants provide beauty as well as food and shelter for wildlife. Native species are adapted to the Illinois climate. They require little or no watering and are resistant to drought, insects and most diseases. Because they are perennials, you can welcome their presence year after year.

sweet black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia subtomentosa)
Photo © Gerald D. Tang

Sweet black-eyed Susan, also known as fragrant coneflower or sweet coneflower, is found in prairies, open woods and thickets statewide. A single plant may attain a height of up to 48 inches. This member of the aster family has stems that are hairy on their upper portions and smooth nearer the base. The lower leaves have three divisions while the upper leaves are entire. The flower heads are yellow (ray flowers) with dark centers (disk flowers). Several flower heads, each on its own stalk, are produced at the top of the plant. Flowers are generally present from July through September. Pollinators are attracted to the pollen and nectar of the flowers.

Classification and taxonomy are based on Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 2014. Vascular flora of Illinois: A field guide. Fourth edition. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale. 536 pp.

Illinois Range

Native Plant Information

For more information about Illinois native plants, visit our Native Habitat Descriptions, Requirements, and Plant Lists page. The following publications are available from the IDNR on our publications page.


​Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae

Illinois Status: common, native