Black Eyed Susan Tattoo: Symbolism, Meanings & More

Black Eyed Susan Tattoo: Symbolism, Meanings & More

The black-eyed Susan is a powerful flower that represents overcoming obstacles, finding happiness and love.

Although some of the more common flower tattoos, such as roses and lilies are well-known both for their most popular design styles as well as the underlying significance of the flower, there are many fantastic alternatives to these flowers.

By choosing a more uncommon type of flower tattoo you can make sure that you stand out from the crowd as well as choose a tattoo that has a very personal meaning and one that gives you not only a beautiful tattoo but that connects with you on a more intimate level.

You can choose to get your flower tattoo by yourself, or share the same design with a friend, family member or loved one. 

Obviously, there are some types of flowers that are better suited to this sharing of design than others.


Having a better understanding of the deeper symbolism behind flowers will help you to choose the most suitable flower design for you.

Meanings and symbolism behind the black-eyed Susan flower

The black-eyed Susan is a very adaptable plant and can overcome many obstacles to continue to grow happy and healthy. 

For this reason, the black eyed-Susan flower is a show of adaptability and strength as well as resilience in the face of adversity.

The bright yellow color of the flower not only brings joy to those who see it, but it also represents encouragement, going hand in hand with its meaning of overcoming obstacles in life. 

However, the bright yellow color of its petals are sharply contrasted by its dark center, so if you wanted an entirely bright tattoo then this may be something to consider.


The black-eyed Susan flower has a lot of history both in its discovery and cultivation as well as interest in the origin of the nickname “black-eyed Susan”. 

Many people believe that the name dates back to a poem written by John Gay about a young woman who had been crying and looking for her lover. 

This also connects this flower to another known as “sweet William”, the name of Susan’s lover. 

So, this gives another meaning to the flower in that it is part of a pair and represents a connection between two lovers who are separated and searching for one another.

If you decide to get the black-eyed Susan flower as a single tattoo then you could use it to signify your search for something be it in love in the form of romance or even companionship. 


Many people have also associated this particular flower with justice and positive emotions such as the need to change for the better. 

The flower is native to North America and was traditionally used for medicines. Tribes would also use the roots for teas and baths. 

So, if you have any heritage that involves North American tribes then this would be a great and beautiful way to represent that part of yourself in a subtle manner.

Black-eyed Susan flowers are part of the daisy family, including sunflowers, and this is shown not only through the shape of their petals but also in their coloring and height. 

Many of these flowers can actually grow up to two feet tall. Despite their small flower, these plants are proud and not afraid to show it.


So, if you feel as if you have been overlooked, downtrodden or simply have had obstacles in your life to overcome in order to bring yourself to a place of happiness and joy then the black-eyed Susan is the perfect flower for you to get to tattoo to represent this side of yourself. 

Because the meanings behind the black-eyed Susan flower are so diverse it will not be immediately clear which is the one that best relates to you. 

So, it makes for a much more subtle tattoo than perhaps some other flowers whose meanings are much better known, such as a red rose.

Black-eyed Susan tattoo design ideas

Simple, cartoon-style design

Because the flower is so powerful in its coloring one idea that would give beauty to your black-eyed Susan tattoo would be a bright, almost cartoon-style tattoo. 

This would involve a simple, yet bold outline of the petals (and stem if you choose to include it) as well as a bright yellow color for the petals which would contrast against the harsh center of the flower.


You could choose to make this design as big or as small as you want, as the design style lends itself well to both larger and smaller tattoos. 

For larger designs, you could choose to add a little more depth to the petals in the form of shading.

As one part of a two-part design

Because the flower has symbolic meaning as one half of the black-eyed Susan and Sweet William flower pairing you and a loved one could choose to get this design together, with one of you getting a tattoo of the black-eyed Susan and the other the sweet William. 

This way you can have matching tattoos without the need to have the exact same design. 

You can also keep the meaning to yourself as this meaning will not be immediately clear unless the viewer can see both tattoos together.


If you have any part of your relationship long-distance, or you spent a long time looking for each other, then this tattoo design is perfect.


Although daisies and sunflowers are very common tattoo choices, another flower from their type, the black-eyed Susan, makes for a great alternative. 

The flower holds very powerful symbolic meanings and can be used to represent a lot of different things.

This range of meanings allows you to pick and choose what the flower means for you. 

You can choose to tattoo the flower as a way to convey your strength and resilience to the world, or as a wish for better times. 

Alternatively, if you pair this flower with the Sweet William then you can symbolize a lost love.


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