Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
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  • Sweet Coneflower

    SCIENTIFIC NAME: Rudbeckia subtomentosa

    COMMON NAMES: Sweet Coneflower, Sweet Black-eyed Susan

    BLOOM TIME: Aug, Sept, Oct


    • Plants grow up to 6 ft. tall with branched near top.
    • Dense short hairs on upper stem
    • Flower heads are on long individual stems up to 3 in. wide.
    • The heads have 6-20 petal-rays around a brown central disk.
    • Flowers have an anise scent.
    • Habitat: open woods, prairies; prefers full sun.


    • Many insects visit flowers for nectar or pollen, including little carpenter bees, cuckoo bees, digger bees, leaf-cutting bees, Halictid bees, & dagger bees.
    • Wasps, Vespid wasps, Syrphid flies, bee flies, Tachinid flies, small- to medium-sized butterflies, skippers, beetles, and true bugs.
    • Bees are the most important pollinators for this plant.
    • The bee species, Heterosarus rudbeckiae, is a specialist pollinator.
    • Caterpillars of the butterfly, Silvery Checkerspot & moths, Gray-blotched Epiblema, Common Pug, & Wavy-lined Emerald sometimes feed on this species as a host plant.