Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Monday, June 19, 2017

Gloriosa Daisies for National Pollinator Week

I am grooving on the 'Irish Eyes' and 'Indian Summer' Black-eyed Susans I planted last month.
 Seriously, just look at that emerald green central cone on 'Irish Eyes' and you'll know one of the reason I invited it to the garden.

'Irish Eyes' with that green center
I love all the Susans and have a special place in my heart for Rudbeckia hirta and  Gloriosa Daisy varieties specifically.
'Indian Summer' displaying hairy parentage
 Rudbeckia hirta flowers have been described as course, hairy and common...You know, that makes me appreciate them more.
'Cherry Brandy' and 'Prairie Sunset'

The Gloriosas have most of the characteristics of their R hirta parent, except the flowers are three times as large and their colors are mixtures of pure yellow or bicolored, many with dark mahogany red splotches at the base of the petals.

Yes, I do love the many colorful varieties and  the big flowers, but I also love that they're all rough and tumble flowers that can take the heat and humidity of our Middle South summers and continue to bloom until frost (deadhead them).
The cats of the Silvery Checkerspot feed on the leaves and nectar at the flowers
Pretty flower faces are delightful, but, you know me, plants that are invited to Clay and Limestone also have to have good wildlife value and Gloriosa Daisies do. Butterflies, bees of all sizes, wasps, beetles and even little loper caterpillars rely on the many Susans for food, and shelter.

Plant them in your garden and sit back and watch the pollinators. I've already seen small Carpenter Bees, Green Metallic bees, Bumbles and skippers visiting the flowers to feed and/or gather pollen.

Now get your wildflower on and share a favorite or two for National Wildflower Week!

PS If you want to help pollinators this week and every week of the year, then, never, ever, ever, ever, ever use pesticides. Also, make sure the plants you bring into your garden have never been treated with neonicotinoids.

Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone. She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.


  1. Oh gosh, I will have the song 'When Irish Eyes Are Smiling' in my head the rest of the day. Only I won't be thinking about some redhead I will be thinking about Rudbeckias.

  2. Hi Gail, Daisies are the energizer bunnies of perennial flowerbeds. I don't know what I'd do without them. They last forever as a cut flower. I love Irish Eyes and grew them a few years ago but they didn't last. I'm at it again this year and hope to have them blooming next year.

  3. I like watching the pollinators all over the flowers in the garden. It is better than 99% of anything on Netflix!

  4. What cheerful flowers for your pollinator cafe!

  5. I used to plant 'Prairie Sun' Rudbeckia every year, but haven't been able to find the seed the last two years, so I now I plant 'Irish Eyes' instead. Both have that green center I just love. My garden is also full of Rudbeckia triloba, a lovely but aggressive thug that may take over one day:) All the Susans are so cheery!

  6. I loved those Rudbeckias in Peg Biers' garden -- I hadn't realized that there were all of those new cultivars out there!


"Insects are the little things that run the world." Dr. E O Wilson