Black-Eyed Susans are one of the most popular flowers in the garden. They have been used for centuries to decorate homes and other places where there was no room for anything else. Today, black-eyed susans are grown in many parts of the world including North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. There are several different types of black-eyed susans with each type having its own characteristics. Some black-eyed susans are known to grow in full sun while others prefer partial shade. Other black-eyed susans need very little water and some require a great deal of it.
The best time to plant your black-eyed susan seedlings is during spring or summer. If you wait until fall, chances are good that the plants will not get enough sunlight and may even freeze over.
If you want to start growing them now, you’ll probably have better luck starting them indoors in pots. You can use plastic pots because they’re less likely to freeze than glass ones. Plastic pots are also easier to clean since they don’t absorb odors as much. However, if you plan on planting outdoors, then you might consider using wooden or metal containers so that the plants won’t rot easily.
Black-Eyed Susan, also called “The Bride of the Prairie”, is a popular North American wildflower of the daisy family. The wildflower has been grown in gardens since the seventeenth century and is native to prairies, meadows and open woodlands of the United States. The flowers are named after the black centre that resembles a pair of black eyes. Native Americans used to grind up the seeds and use it as a substitute for coffee. Black-Eyed Susan is a tall and sturdy plant that can reach heights of anywhere from 12 to 72 inches.
The leaves are about 1 to 2.5 inches wide and have a rough texture. The flower itself consists of a yellow central disk which is marked with a black bull’s eye pattern. The petals consist of dark reddish-brown veins that go towards the edges of the flower.
There are about 110 species that make up the genus. It grows in rocky or sandy, dry to moist, well-drained soil. The flower can bloom from March through October.
Black-eyed Susans are easy to grow from seed and will self sow if allowed. Sow seeds in early spring in a lightly worked soil and cover very lightly. Press down very gently with the back of the teaspoon. Compacted sowings often leads to sparse germination. Black-eyed Susans prefer full sun but will tolerate some shade.
They thrive in almost all well drained soils.
It is interesting to note that a legend tells of a Black-eyed Susan Vine that would turn into a beautiful woman when it danced and then return to being a vine when the dance was over. Though, I guess this can be said of many flowers!
Black-eyed Susans can be considered weeds by some gardeners. They can reseed themselves readily, and the seedlings appear very early in the growing season and can easily be mistaken for weeds. The best way to prevent this is to plant black-eyed Susans in plastic pots and keep them inside until spring.
The black-eyed Susan is the state wildflower of Alabama, Illinois, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas.
The Cherokee Indians used the roots of black-eyed Susans in a tea to treat rheumatism and other types of pains.
The Black-eyed Susan is a food source for such critters as the California dogface butterfly, lizards, and sphinx moths.
Black-eyed Susans are one of the more important wildflowers to bees. The bees feed on both the petals and the nectar. This promotes cross-pollination, which is necessary for healthy fruit and seed production.
The black-eyed Susan is the state flower of Iowa, but it’s not an official symbol of any other state.
Black-eyed Susans have been used medicinally by Native Americans to promote healing of cuts and wounds. Also, they are supposed to be good luck if picked on Friday and worn around the neck.
Black-eyed Susans were considered one of the “foolish flowers” by Shakespeare in his comedy “Twelfth Night”.
Black-eyed Susans have three symbols: beauty, love and fidelity.
Black-eyed Susans are the most popular wildflower in America and are one of the most popular flowers in general.
MEDICINAL USES: The Cherokee Indians used black-eyed Susans medicinally. They boiled the roots to make a tea that was drunk for coughs and colds.
OTHER USES: Black-eyed Susans are an important honey plant for bees. The petals and leaves can be scattered around the garden to help attract bees. They also look very nice.
Azure-veined Speedwell: The bright sky blue flowers of this plant give it the name “azure-veined”. The flower is marked with a blotch of deep purple. It grows in clusters, and its height ranges from 6 to 12 inches. Some speedwell varieties have hairless stems and leaves, while others are slightly hairy and others quite downy.
The speedwell is native to most of the United States and Canada, and southern parts of Europe, western Asia, and northern Africa.
The speedwell can be found in vacant lots, open fields, meadows, and along roadsides. It enjoys a nitrogen-rich soil.
The flowers are mainly pollinated by bees and butterflies.
The leaves and flowers can be eaten raw or cooked. They can also be dried for later use. The young leaves taste similar to spinach. They can be added to salads or cooked like greens.
The flowers can also be used in salads. They are also used to flavor various drinks.
A tea can be made from the leaves and flowers. The tea has been known to help relax the muscles, though it should not be overused and should not be used by those with nervous disorders.
Azure-veined speedwell is a helpful addition to the home medical kit. The leaves can be mashed and applied to wounds to speed up healing.
Azure-veined speedwell was once placed in coffins with the dead in England so they would have food on their journey to the afterlife.
Azure-veined speedwell is a favorite food of the caterpillars of the flame, a tiger, and Io moths.
BANEBERRY: Also known as naked ladies and devil’s berries, this plant is found throughout most of North America. It grows to about three feet in height with white or purple flowers. The berry itself has a greenish-white color, and is very toxic. In fact, it is so toxic that even the birds won’t eat the berries, and they’ll feed on other plants that are otherwise inedible.
The entire plant is poisonous, and the berries are especially so. Ingestion of the berries can cause extreme nausea, diarrhea, blurred vision, and possibly death. The Paiute tribes of California used the juice from the berries to poison their arrows. DO NOT EAT!
BARNYARD GROENE: Also known as the glowplant or poor man’s neon, this plant is a native of England. It is not a true plant, but rather a mold that grows on stuff like straw, hay, and manure that has been kept in a dark place. If kept in a dark place, it will give off a greenish glow. In fact, it is the basis for the word “green” in terms of money, as in “greenbacks.” The plant looks just like straw.
BASE OF TREE: Found in forests throughout the eastern United States, this low-growing evergreen shrub has leathery dark green leaves and clusters of small green flowers. It grows very well in shade and can be kept to a height of about six inches or so. It is especially effective when planted under large trees where little else will grow.
BASE OF TREE
BEARBERRY: Found in the northern forests of North America, this plant has oval leaves and white, urn-shaped flowers which grow on short stems. The purple-black berries are edible and can be eaten raw or cooked in a variety of foods. They can also be processed into a dye and turns wool a pinkish color. Native Americans used the juice from the berries as a mouthwash and the leaves as medicine for stomachaches.
BEARBERRY LEAVES: Large oval leaves with toothed edges. They are dark green in color, leathery, and shiny. The plant is native to North America and produces a purple berry in the summer. The berries are edible and can be eaten raw or cooked. They can also be processed to make a dye that turns wool a pinkish color.
The leaves can also be boiled and the resulting liquid can be used as a mouthwash.
BEDSTRAW: Also known as field madder, this plant is native to Europe but has been spread to most parts of the world. It is a hardy biennial plant that grows to about a foot in height and has pink or purple flowers. The roots can be used to produce a red dye.
BELLADONA: Also known as deadly nightshade, this plant is native to Europe but has spread to most parts of the world. It is a poisonous plant with oval-shaped leaves, white flowers that grow in a circle formation, and green berries. The berries are the only part of the plant that is not poisonous. The root, leaves, and berries all contain the poison atropine and can cause delirium, loss of balance, hallucinations, dryness of the mouth and throat, and tremors.
BINDWEED: A common garden weed found in most parts of the world. It has small white flowers and round green seed pods. The stems grow in a circular fashion and can easily grow through the cracks in stone walls. It is often found growing wild in untended gardens.
BIRCH: A common tree found throughout the northern reaches of The Realm. It has white bark that peels off in layers, light green leaves, and brown seeds. Its wood is good for carving.
BLACK LOCUST: A hardy tree native to the hotter regions of The Realm, but has been spread by man to most other parts of the world. It has dark green leaves with white flowers. The bark is black and the wood is very hard and durable once dried out.
BLACKBERRY: A common thorny bush found in most parts of the world. It has oval leaves that are dark green in color, small white flowers that grow in groups, and juicy black berries. The berries can be eaten or made into jam or preserves. The thorns are sharp so extreme caution should be taken when dealing with this plant.
BLACKWATER: A dark, slow-moving, and murky river located in the heart of the Darklands. It is one of two main waterways that flow through the region, the other being Redwater River, which is a bit lighter in color but just as deadly to drink. Many forms of poisonous and carnivorous fish live within the waters, as do many unique species of fungi. It has long been speculated that many strange monsters from the Darklands make their homes near the rivers. The Blackwater River is best known as the location where Carn’s Coven makes their home, located on an island in the middle of it.
BLOODROOT: A common plant found in most parts of The Realm. It has dark red leaves and white flowers. The plant is poisonous and its sap can be used to make a strong dye.
BOG BEAN: A plant that grows only in the wet mud of swampy areas. It has long vines that can grow up to 50 feet in length, hanging from a single stem. The vine’s beans are bitter and inedible, but can be used to make dye.
BOG BLOSSOM: A foul-smelling flower that grows in wet, swampy areas. The large pink petals are a foot across and the plant smells like rotting meat. It is poisonous and can be used to make poison.
BRAMBLE: A thorny vine that grows along the ground in forests and dark areas. Its berries are black and grow in clusters.
Sources & references used in this article:
Beyond the checklist: what else health care can learn from aviation teamwork and safety by S Gordon, P Mendenhall, BB O’Connor – 2012 – books.google.com
Learning from my daughter: The value and care of disabled minds by EF Kittay – 2019 – books.google.com
Black-eyed Susan, Blue-eyed schools: academically-oriented Black girls in Toronto schools by SP Anthony – 2000 – tspace.library.utoronto.ca
A Mixed-Methods Analysis of Gender Construction in Black-Eyed Susan Novels by LL Trulove – 2020 – search.proquest.com