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Swedish naturalist, Carl Linnaeus, created the botanical name of the Black-Eyed Susan after his son Olav Rudbeck.
A wash made from the root of the Susan is sometimes used as a natural pain reliever for snakebites, swelling and sores.
From its limelight appearance in the Preakness Stakes Horse Race to its roadside role in welcoming visitors to the state, the Black-Eyed Susan is a ubiquitous – and delightful – ambassador for the state of Maryland.
Named the Maryland state flower in 1918, the sunny, open-faced flower is characterized by its charm and symbolism. It shares the same colors as the state flag of Maryland. It also has 13 petals – the same number of original American colonies, of which Maryland was a part.
In a state known more for its love of horse racing than flowers, the Black-Eyed-Susan earns a surprising amount of respect. Black-Eyed Susan is the name of a filly race that precedes the Preakness and the name of the official Preakness cocktail (though the drink contains no actual flower parts). Each year, the winner of the Preakness is festooned with a blanket made out of Black-Eyed Susan flowers.
Maryland’s state flower grows easily with little attention. Black-Eyed Susans can reach heights between 3 to 6 feet and often grow in abundance in the wild, making it a favorite of wildflower photographers. Its sunny, daisy-like appearance centers on a raised, dark sphere that is surrounded by yellow and gold ray-shaped petals.
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