Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Brown Eyed Susans
The bright yellows and golds of the brown-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta) are dancing in the garden despite the lack of rain and intense heat. This perennial (in some areas it is an annual) can reach heights of 12"-24" and tend to form wonderfully bright golden beds of rich color. The roots have been used as an astringent for sores and swelling and drops have been used for earaches. It has been reported that the roots have also been used in much the same way as purple cone flowers - for snake bite, headaches, to treat bronchitis, colds and other illnesses - as an immune-system booster.
The plantsmen are developing so many varieties of this plant that these, like purple cone flower, are an incredible addition to any garden.
The plants at the Arboretum are doing beautifully -- but mine at home, drought-stressed over the last few years - have become rather skimpy and sparse. At the field day nursery visits last week, I picked up a few new plants and gave them a new home -- but if we don't hve significant rain soon, even these won't make it, even with watering.
I rained here in Smithfield yesterday -- in fact my friend and I walked after work IN the drizzle -- wasn't too much though - we never got sodden. But in Oxford -- less than a quarter of an inch (.03) fell -- sigh. It's overcast this morning -- more rain dancing for sure.