Not far from a mailbox near our house is a cheery patch of yellow flowers commonly known as Black-Eyed Susans. When I went to confirm their scientific name (Rudbeckia hirta), I discovered that–much to my chagrin–they are the state flower of Maryland, which has been our home for the past 12 years. I have no excuse. I really had no idea, despite having some Black-Eyed Susans in the garden of our old house (also in Maryland). My current garden does feature a close cousin: some tall and graceful Rudbeckia maximas. I’m hoping I get some bonus points for that family connection….
This bout of state-related ignorance has inspired me to go from having no idea to having a nice idea: in two weeks, we will drive across the United States (from the West Coast back home to the East Coast). So my admittedly joyful task will now be to make note of each state flower along the route and see if I can take a picture of it. In the meantime, here is the lovely state flower of Maryland: