Rudbeckia, Black-Eyed Susan, Gloriosa Daisy 'Prairie Sun'

Rudbeckia hirta

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rudbeckia (rud-BEK-ee-a) (Info)
Species: hirta (HER-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Prairie Sun





Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round

Suitable for growing in containers


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:

Gold (Yellow-Orange)

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Blooms repeatedly



This plant is resistant to deer

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Calistoga, California

Pacifica, California

Richmond, California

Littleton, Colorado

Lewes, Delaware

Hebron, Kentucky

Salvisa, Kentucky

Grand Marais, Michigan

Mason, Michigan

Spicer, Minnesota

Waynesboro, Mississippi

Lincoln, Nebraska

New Milford, New Jersey

Glens Falls, New York

Ronkonkoma, New York

Beaufort, North Carolina

Greensboro, North Carolina

Zebulon, North Carolina

Cincinnati, Ohio

Geneva, Ohio

Salem, Oregon

Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania

Reading, Pennsylvania

Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania

Blythewood, South Carolina

North Augusta, South Carolina

Bryan, Texas

Hockley, Texas

Provo, Utah

Newport News, Virginia

Smithfield, Virginia

Alderwood Manor, Washington

East Port Orchard, Washington

Kalama, Washington

Dallas, Wisconsin

Menasha, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 23, 2017, Rests from Bryan, TX wrote:

Just bought this at the local Lowe's. The info on the plant says that it needs 6+ hours of sun. However, here in Bryan, Texas sun loving plants need some shade. The sun here can get too hot. I have been told that most labels are written for cooler climates. It can get over 100 degrees for long periods. Hope the plant makes it and thrives. I will put it in a pot and let it get morning sun.


On Jul 25, 2013, ZigsMom from Crystal Lake, CT wrote:

Just bought this plant as perennial. First time I'd ever seen it so of course I had to get it. Really hoping it comes back in the spring in my CT garden. Will post success-or not-next spring. In the meantime we'll enjoy the beautiful eye-catching flowers.


On Oct 20, 2011, NancyMcD from Grand Marais, MI wrote:

'Prairie Sun' is a short-lived perennial for us here on the south shore of Lake Superior. What a performer! Once it starts blooming, there's no stopping it until hard frost. It self-sows reliably but not weedily. The color combination goes well with many other flowers, unlike the rather harsh highway-line-yellow so common in this genus. Great cut flower, too. This one is a real winner here; highly recommended.


On Jul 12, 2010, gardadore from Saylorsburg, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

I don't depend on the plant to return the next year in my zone but make sure to sprinkle the seeds around. It acts more like a bi-annual, blooming the second year, giving seed but rarely returning. Absolutely gorgeous in a mass!


On Jun 13, 2010, gardeningfun from Harpersfield, OH (Zone 5a) wrote:

Did not come back in zone 5a this year -2010. Planted it last summer. I bought this at a very reputable nursery here North Eastern Ohio, as a large potted plant. Planted it in full sun, clay soil. It declined in late summer and never came back this year. All the other plants in that garden returned, but this one. We had very heavy snowstorms and low temps this last winter. The Indian Summer Rudbeckia didn't come back either.


On Oct 12, 2009, sandykay7 from Spicer, MN wrote:

I have had this flower come back for 2 years now. I love how long the flowers lasts...summer through fall!


On Oct 15, 2007, kqcrna from Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant wintersowed very well for me.

It is actually a different type rudbeckia than "Irish Eyes". I wintersowed both, and both are very pretty. Both have a green eye. Irish Eyes grew larger blossoms, but had fewer petals per blossom. There is also a much less defined color change as petals run from eye to the outer edge of the flower.


On Mar 22, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

A Gold Medal winner. Orange petals wash to yellow at the tips around green centers. Tall and robust and great for cutting.


On Jul 19, 2006, Anitabryk2 from Long Island, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:

This plant wintersowed nicely


On Jul 8, 2006, flamingonut from New Milford, NJ wrote:

This is one of my favorite Rudbeckias; it's well behaved, and although I've seen conflicting information in regards to it's hardiness, I've had mine for 3 years now, and hasn't reseeded. I do keep it deadheaded.


On Dec 6, 2005, bigcityal from Menasha, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

I bought this plant as Irish Eyes. I have seen it sold as Prairie Sun also. Reseeds well.


On Oct 13, 2005, Burnsr10 from Glens Falls, NY wrote:

Planted seed this year which yielded a beautiful plant with many flowers


On Sep 5, 2005, tabasco from Cincinnati (Anderson Twp), OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

A departure from the traditional 'black-eyed susan' because it sports a green/yellow eye and so provides summer perennial 'gaity' with less contrast than the traditional version.

I would classify it as a tender perennial. Sometimes it returns, other times it does not. The tag says that in our area it should be grown as an annual.

Prairie Sun garners lots of compliments in our sunny border, and I like it, too, for it's easy maintenance.


On Jan 20, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

A half-hardy annual, this variety has an unusual green center and bright orange-to-yellow petals.

July 2008 update

I snagged a gallon of 'Prairie Sun' at a local grocery store today. What a wonderfully sunny, cheery plant. The tag on this pot says hardy to zone 3, which would certainly make it more than a half-hardy annual. Guess we'll see what happens this winter!