Hello, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The black-eyed Susans, Rudbeckia hirta, that earlier made brilliant yellow masses on the roadside as I traveled to work, are native biennial or perennial wildflowers with many cultivars grown by gardeners. Their fun name comes from their sterile yellow ray flowers which surround a brown somewhat hairy cone. This cone actually contains several hundred tiny individual flowers, which over a period of time open from the outside inward; if you take time and maybe use a hand lens you can see yellow stamens on some open flowers. As they mature and open, very small native bees, flies and a plethora of other insects come to feed on them and as they move from one tiny flower to the next, pollenate each of them. If you leave the dried cones, birds will enjoy the seeds throughout winter.