Black-Eyed Susans are starting tobat their brown eyes at us. No Susan (nor anyone else) ever had black eyes without being punched, but apparently John Gay didn’t know that.

Susan 05.jpg

John was the 18th Century English poet who wrote the ballad Sweet William’s Farewell to Black-Eyed Susan. That popular tune, reportedly, inspired the name for all 30 of our native species of Black-Eyed Susans.

Susan 02.jpg

In the ballad, Sweet William is a seaman on a warship that is about to sail into battle; no one named a flower to honor his sweetness. (There is a flower named Sweet William [Dianthus barbatus] that some think was named after William Shakespeare.) (Brooklin, Maine)