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Urbatsch, Lowell E.; Cox, Patricia B. (2006). "Ratibida". In Flora of North America Editorial Committee (ed.). Flora of North America North of Mexico (FNA). Vol. 21. New York and Oxford – via eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.or Mexican hat, is a perennial species of flowering plant in the Ratibida (prairie coneflower) genus and daisy family, Asteraceae. It is native to much of North America and inhabits prairies, plains, roadsides, and disturbed areas from southern Canada through most of the United States to northern Mexico. "Ratibida columnifera". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 2010-06-05.
Ratibida columnifera (Mexican Hat Plant) is an upright, clump-forming perennial boasting profuse, golden yellow or vibrant rust red daisies with 3-7 drooping rays surrounding a long and prominent central disk - resembling a sombrero with a drooping brim. Blooming beautifully from late spring to fall, the blossoms open on slender stems with bright green, feathery and deeply cleft leaves. Attracting butterflies, they often bloom by the thousands and provide weeks of eye-catching color. Their attractive seedheads further extend the season of interest and will be visited in the fall and winter by birds that feed on the seeds.I sometimes think that if you've seen one coneflower, you've seen them all, but each species is indeed unique. Gray-headed Coneflower is a much taller plant than the related Prairie Coneflower (Ratibida columnifera), blooms later, and has much larger leaves. Cut-leaf Coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata) is also a tall plant with lobed leaves, but it has a more bulbuous cone, the leaf lobes are broader, seeds are not compressed, and has smooth stems.
Yellow Coneflower is native to dry prairies and savannas. It has stiff and rough-feeling coarse leaves, and showy yellow flowers which have droopy soft yellow rays. The cone-like green centers eventually change to a dark purple or brown. Many insects are attracted to this plant such as butterflies and bees. It grows and transplants very easily, is drought-tolerant, and makes an excellent cut flower. Yellow Coneflower grows best in full sun to partial shade, and medium to dry-medium soil conditions. It blooms approximately from July to September. There are many good native companions for Ratibida pinnata blooming at the same time such as Wild Bergamot, Anise Hyssop, and many of the prairie grasses. Other common names are Drooping Coneflower, Pinnate Prairie Coneflower, Weary Susan, Grayhead Coneflower and Grey-headed Coneflower.A Prairie Moon • February 12 Thanks for writing, Cecilia. Ratibida pinnata goes from seed to blossoms more quickly than most native species; blooms in the first season are not unheard-of but flowering in the second and subsequent seasons is far more common. Most native perennials work more on root formation than above-ground growth in season one. Site and seasonal conditions, of course, affect plant development greatly. (Source: www.prairiemoon.com)