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Irish Eyes Daisy Is a Cheerful Addition to the Garden

Virtues: 'Irish Eyes' is a quick-growing daisy that boasts unique green discs at the center of its yellow rays. It brightens up the border or a container planting and it can handle dry spells with ease. Its midsummer to fall flowers add eye-catching color and attract butterflies, bees and other fliers. These flowers are also great for cutting, and picking them will encourage more to develop.


Common name: 'Irish Eyes' black-eyed Susan, gloriosa daisy

Botanical name: Rudbeckia hirta 'Irish Eyes'

Exposure: Full sun to part shade

Flowers: Daisy-type flowers have yellow rays and unique greenish central discs.

Foliage: Medium green, lance-shape leaves form a basal clump and occur intermittently along the flowering stems.

Habit: This daisy grows to about two feet high and wide. Technically it is a short-lived perennial, but it's often grown as an annual.

Origin: 'Irish Eyes' is a selection of Rudbeckia hirta, which is a coneflower species native to western portions of North America. The species has naturalized across much of the continent however and it's a familiar site in prairies, fields, wood edges and at the roadside.

How to grow it: Site 'Irish Eyes' glorious daisy in full sun to part shade and in average to poor soil with good drainage. This is an easy, adaptable plant that can cope equally well with short periods of drought and wet conditions, although even moisture spurs the best performance. Although it is a perennial (usually lasting about three years), it is often treated as an annual, especially in colder regions. That said, its hardiness rating is USDA Zones 4–9, and propagation is by division or seed. 

Image credit: By Dwight Sipler from Stow, MA, USA - Rudbeckia "Irish Eyes" Uploaded by Jacopo Werther, CC BY 2.0

Read about another favorite R. hirta selection: the Denver Daisy.