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5 Things You Didn't Know About Black-Eyed Susans

Eva Niessner

5 Things You Didn't Know About Black-Eyed Susans

It's July, which means the Black-Eyed Susans are enjoying the bright sunshine and heat -- even if the rest of us Marylanders aren't quite as much. (Stay cool and hydrated, everybody!) Sure, we've seen these gorgeous yellow-and-black blooms everywhere in our state, especially since it's the state flower. But it turns out these versatile flowers are more than just decoration for Preakness winners! Did you know....

1.They've been used as a medicinal treatment

Turns out these flowers don't just look pretty in your garden. They've also been useful for treating various ailments. According to the Herbal Resource, Native American tribes have used them for centuries in order to cure colds, get rid of worms, and even treat snakebites! (Disclaimer: We're going to go ahead and suggest you see a doctor if you've been bitten by a snake rather than heading out to the flower patch.) 

 

2. They represent justice

In Victorian England, different flowers were used to communicate different emotions and attributes, and Black-Eyed Susans represented justice! So what makes them so just, anyway? According to Thyme Will Tell, it's possible that the dependable way that the flowers would pop back up every year could be related to the way justice could always be depended upon to prevail. Either way, we sure wish more superheroes would incorporate these flowers in their quest for justice! 

 

3. They attract butterflies

Gardeners (or anybody who likes flowers, and beauty, and nature) love butterflies. They make everything look a little more idyllic, and they're great pollinators, too! So how can you attract more of these pretty little insects to your yard? Just plant some Black-Eyed Susans. They're full of the nectar that butterflies crave, and unlike more delicate flowers, they don't mind dry, scorching weather, so the butterflies can get a drink when it's hot. Nice!

 

4. They may have gotten their name from a poem

You're probably wondering -- who was Susan, anyway? According to American Meadows, It's likely that the flowers were named from an Old English poem about a woman, Susan, whose beloved 'sweet William' was a sailor who promised to return to her safely. To make things more romantic, Sweet William is the name of a flower, too, and they bloom at just the same time if planted together. Don't mind us crying at how cute that is.

5. They don't actually go on the Preakness winner!

Well...turns out we sort of lied at the beginning of this article. The horse that wins the Preakness technically doesn't get a drapery of Black-Eyed Susans -- they're not in bloom when the race is run! Instead, they get Viking Poms, which look enough like Black-Eyed Susans to satisfy the crowds and the winner. How disappointing! At least the Black-Eyed Susans get the credit. 

There are lots of Black-Eyed Susan-themed items in our shop! What's your favorite Black-Eyed Susan item of ours that you own? Let us know in the comments.

All photos from Pixabay.

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