Well, this is it folks — 1000 consecutive days, and now it’s time for a (small) break. I suspect the next posting will occur either on Thursday or Friday this week, so BPotD won’t be gone for too long. I thought I’d share a photograph from the home of my youth today.
These black-eyed susans grow in a south-facing, sandy-soiled shallow ditch a few miles from where I grew up. I don’t have any particularly striking memories about this little patch of plants (perhaps a hundred individuals in good years), other than the general cheeriness I associate with them and learning the name Rudbeckia when identifying this taxon for the very first time using the “Wildflowers Across the Prairies” book.
Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima is distributed throughout much of the USA and Canada. In some jurisdictions it is not native, but instead introduced and naturalized, e.g., California (Jepson Manual’s treatment of the taxon).
Wikipedia has a short article on black-eyed susans, including a lengthy list of alternative common names (blackiehead, brown betty, brown daisy, brown-eyed susan, gloriosa daisy, golden Jerusalem, poorland daisy, yellow daisy, yellow ox-eye daisy), but I’m sticking with what I first learned it as commonly. More intriguing than the Wikipedia page is this extremely lengthy weblog post from Hank of A Lake County Point of View: “A Tale of Two Susans”. You probably could spend hours reading that post if you followed all of the links, but particularly salient is the mention of the origin of the name Rudbeckia: it is named in honour of the Swedish scientist Olof Rudbeck the Younger. Named by whom? Rudbeck’s pupil, Linnaeus. And as this year draws to a close, so does the tercentenary celebration of Linnaeus. Finishing a run of a thousand consecutive Botany Photo of the Day posts with mention of Linnaeus seems about right.
Botany resource link: Since you’ll need more reading material while BPotD is on hiatus, do investigate the excellent series on the Washington botanist Wilhelm Nikolaus Suksdorf recently reprinted in the Botanical Electronic News: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.