Ratibida columnifera Mexican Hat Longhead Prairie Coneflower Seeds & Plants
(ruh-TIB-ih-duh  kol-um-NEE-fer-uh  or  rah-TIB-id-ah  kol-lum-NIF-er-ah)
Easyliving Native Perennial Wildflowers
Native Wild Flower Plants & Seeds for Home Landscaping & Prairie Restorations
john@easywildflowers.com

Ratibida columnifera Mexican Hat, Upright Prairie Coneflower 
photo by cj
Habitat Bloom Period Color Height inches Moisture Plant Spacing Lifespan
Ratibida columnifera Mexican Hat Upright Coneflower picture sun, light shade May - July
yellow
with red
24 to 42 inches dry to average 8 to 18
inches
Perennial

For other flowers visit the Wildflower Seed/Plant Price List 
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or 
email questions, comments, and orders to john@easywildflowers.com 
 

Ratibida columnifer seed
Mexican Hat seed

approximate
number of seeds

approximate coverage
in square feet

1 packet -  $2.50 + shipping

200 25

1 ounce -  $7.00  

43,750 1200

1 pound -  $45.00  

700,000 19,000

Seed shipping chart at bottom of page
Ratibida columnifera
, also called Ratibida columnaris, Upright Prairie Coneflower, Long-headed Coneflower, Mexican Hat, and Thimble flower.  Mexican Hat will grow over most regions of the United States, it's natural range is dry open ground, and disturbed sites extending from southwestern Canada to northern Mexico, east to Minnesota and Texas. There are 2 species of Ratibida columnifera, one all yellow and one with red ray flowers (petals) touched with yellow.  The ray flowers droop at the base of an upright 1 to 2-inch-tall brownish cone.  Ratibida columnifera has an open airy growth pattern branching often above the base.  Plant Mexican Hat in full sun and well drained soil, prefers soil rich in limestone but is adaptable to other soils and is quite drought tolerant blooming the second season.  Ratibida columnifera grows well on loam, sandy loam, and clayey loam soils and is tolerant of weakly acidic to moderately alkaline soils and weak saline soils.  Mexican Hat wildflower has low to moderate water requirements and is found on dry plains, prairies, waste ground, and along roadsides and railroads.  Seeds do not need a pretreatment and can be planted fall through spring. 

Information below complements of USDA, NRCS. 2001. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.1
  (http://plants.usda.gov). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

Alternate Names

Mexican hat, yellow Mexican hat, upright prairie coneflower, long-head coneflower, columnar prairie coneflower

 Tea was made from the leaves and flower heads.  Cheyenne Indians boiled prairie coneflower leaves and stems to make a solution applied externally to draw the poison out of rattlesnake bites.  An infusion was used to relieve the pain of headaches and to treat stomachaches and fevers (Moerman 1998).  A decoction was used as a wash to relieve pain and to treat poison ivy rash (Ibid.). 

Management

Prairie coneflower seeds can be planted in the fall.  If they are placed in winter storage for spring planting, they should be stratified with a cold dry treatment. 

Landscaping: Prairie coneflower is suggested for use in roadside plantings, parks, recreational areas and prairie restoration projects; where annual precipitation is from ten to thirty inches.  This species is sometimes grown as an ornamental. 

 Description

General: Composite Family (Asteraceae).  Prairie coneflower is a native perennial about a foot and a half tall.  The rays are generally three to five centimeters long, much longer than the disk (solid part between the rays).  The floral disk is somewhat globe-shaped, ovoid, or shortly ellipsoid, twelve to twenty millimeters high (Steyermark 1963).  Prairie coneflower has well-developed leaves up to fifteen centimeters long and six centimeters wide, pinnatifid to partly bipinnatifid, with ultimate segments linear to oblong, often very unequal (Great Plains Flora Association 1986).  This species has one to several stems twelve to forty-seven inches tall.  The fruit is a small ashen. 

 Adaptation

Ratibida columnifera grows well on loam, sandy loam, and clayey loam soils.  It prefers a sunny position and well-drained rich soil types.  This species is tolerant of weakly acidic to moderately alkaline soils and weak saline soils.  It has low to moderate water requirements.  Prairie coneflower is found on dry plains, prairies, waste ground, and along roadsides and railroads. 

 Establishment

Propagation by Seed: Ratibida columnifera seeds are best sown in early spring in a cold frame.  Cover the seeds and place the pot in a sunny location.  Optimum germination temperatures are between 68 to 86ºF, or 20 to 30ºC.  Germination should be achieved in two days

  Distribution: Prairie coneflower ranges from Alberta to Mexico, east to Manitoba, Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas; and New England (Steyermark 1963

The map below shows areas where native Ratibida columnifera Mexican Hat, Upright Prairie Coneflower wild flowers grows wild but they can be planted and will grow over a wider area than shown.  USDA plant hardiness zones 2 to 9.  family Compositae

Ratibida columnifera
Mexican Hat
State Distributional Map for RACO3

Arkansas
Colorado
Connecticut
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Louisiana
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

Alabama
Arizona

Use the chart below for shipping charges on Ratibida columnifera flower seeds,
to order copy the order form
or
email questions, comments & orders to john@easywildflowers.com 

Please contact us by email with your address for shipping charges & availability on potted plants

We accept payment by check, money order, and through Paypal

The minimum seed order amount is $10, this can be a combination of different seeds.

subtotal for flower seeds 

shipping charge for seeds

seed orders up to  $20.00    =    $3.00 shipping
$20.01 - $50.00    =    $4.00 shipping
$50.01-$100.00    =    $5.00 shipping

over $100.00    =    5 % of subtotal

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Ratibida columnifera Mexican Hat, Upright Prairie Coneflower Plant distribution map complements of USDA, NRCS. 2001. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.1
  (http://plants.usda.gov). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

 

 

 

Alternate Names
Upright prairie coneflower, yellow coneflower, long headed coneflower, columnar prairie coneflower, Mexican hat
Uses
Grazing: Prairie coneflower is palatable and nutritious to all classes of domestic livestock when utilized in early stage of plant growth and development. It is considered a desirable spring browse plant for big game animals, and the seed of prairie coneflower is preferred by several species of upland birds and small mammals.
Restoration: Prairie coneflower is a medium to tall-statured forb that may fill a structural cover and nesting niche for multiple species of upland birds in a variety of plant community types. A more diverse native plant community will be attained when this species is included in native seed mixes for the rehabilitation of such disturbed sites as rangelands, minelands, roadsides, park and restoration areas, prairie restoration projects, and conservation plantings in accordance with government farm bill program requirements.
Landscape: Prairie coneflower is commonly recommended as an ornamental wildflower in pollinator friendly, low maintenance, or natural landscapes.
Ethnobotanic: Native peoples utilized a decoction of leaves and stems to treat pain, poison ivy rash, and rattlesnake bites. An infusion was made from plant tops to treat headache, stomachache, cough, fever, epileptic fits, and to induce vomiting. A medicinal or beverage-type tea was made from the ripened flower heads and leaves. An orange-yellow dye was produced from boiled flowers.
Status
Please consult the PLANTS Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status (e.g. threatened or endangered species, state noxious status, and wetland indicator values).
Description and Adaptation
Prairie coneflower is a native, late-season, herbaceous perennial in the Aster Family. It usually has a taproot and grows upright from a woody base to a height of 12 to 24 inches (30 to 60 cm). The numerous, pinnate leaves are deeply cut into linear or lance-shaped segments along alternately branched stems. Showy yellow ray flowers droop and surround the columnar-shaped, brown, central disk. Occasionally, the ray flowers are reddish-brown in color. The flowers tend to bloom from late June until August, with seed ripening completed in early August to September. The mature seedhead has a pleasant odor when crushed that is similar to anise or licorice. The fruit is a 1-seeded, gray-black achene.
Prairie coneflower is a native, drought-tolerant wildflower of the Great Plains that is commonly found from south central Canada to northern Mexico, and west from Manitoba and Minnesota to southeastern Idaho. It prefers to grow in the dry, open spaces of prairie grasslands and mountain foothills and is found along roadsides, in waste and disturbed areas, and along railroad rights-of-way. Prairie coneflower does well on a variety of soil types, including loams and rocky to gravelly-sandy textures. It tolerates a pH range from slightly acidic to moderately alkaline and weak saline soils, in areas receiving 10 to 30 inches (254 to 762 mm) of annual precipitation. Prairie coneflower attains optimum growth in full sun and low to moderate levels of competition within a native plant community. This plant is a common component of such ecological
Susan R. Winslow
USDA NRCS Bridger PMC
sites as shallow, silty, shallow to gravel, and silty steep. Associated species include western wheatgrass, bluebunch wheatgrass, prairie Junegrass, Sandberg bluegrass, common gaillardia, white and purple prairie clover, big sagebrush, and western yarrow.
For a current distribution map, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Website.
Establishment
Seed should be planted into a firm, weed-free seedbed, preferably with a drill that will ensure uniform seed placement depth of ¼ to ½ inch (6 to 12 mm). The processed seed of prairie coneflower has approximately 600,000 seeds/lb (1,320,000 seeds/kg). The full seeding rate is 2 lb/acre (2.2 kg/ha) pure-live-seed (PLS), but it would seldom be seeded in a pure stand. It is recommended that prairie coneflower be included as a component of a native seed mixture at a rate of ¼ to ½ lb/acre (0.3 to 0.6 kg/ha). When used in a mix adjust the seeding rate to the desired percentage of mix. Spring seeding is preferred over a dormant, fall planting date. Periodic mowing during the establishment year is one option for weed suppression.
Seed Production
Seed production fields should be established in rows at 25 PLS per linear foot of row (82 per linear meter of row). Between-row spacing is dependent on the type of planting and cultivation equipment, and ranges from 24 to 36 inches (60 to 90 cm). Adequate between-row space should be provided to perform mechanical cultivation. At 24-inch row spacing, the recommended seeding rate is 1 PLS lb/acre (1.1 kg/ha), and at 30- and 36-inch row spacing, the seeding rate is 0.7 and 0.6 PLS lb/acre (0.8 and 0.7 kg/ha), respectively. There are presently no herbicides specifically labeled to control weeds in seed production fields. Seed harvest of prairies coneflower is effective by several methods such as swathing and combining or direct-combining. Direct-combining should take place when the seed has just begun to shatter from the very top of the ripened conehead. Processing of the seed works well over a 2- to 3-screen fanning mill with final cleaning over an indent cylinder or gravity table. Seed production of 300 to 500 lb/acre (336 to 560 kg/ha) can be expected under irrigated conditions. Seed production stands may remain productive for only 3 years (2 seed crops). Seed viability is very high and longevity can be expected for 5 to 8 years when stored at moderate temperatures and low humidity.
Management
Growth of prairie coneflower begins in mid spring and flowers begin to appear in early summer. Excessive competition from other species may require removal to promote prairie coneflower establishment and longevity. Livestock grazing and wildlife browsing should be limited to avoid over-utilization during the active growing season.
Pests and Potential Problems
There are no major insect or disease pests of prairie coneflower. Stands can be reduced by powdery mildew and root and crown rot organisms.
Environmental Concerns
Prairie coneflower will establish relatively quickly via seed distribution. It is not considered weedy, but often finds its way into adjacent vegetative communities. Prairie coneflower coexists with other species and adds biodiversity to a variety of native plant communities.
Cultivars, Improved, and Selected Materials (and area of origin)
Stillwater Germplasm was released in 2004 from the Bridger Plant Materials Center. It is a selected class release of prairie coneflower that is a composite of five accessions collected from native stands in Montana. The five accessions were selected because of their consistent taller stature, uniformity in seed maturity dates, and superior seed production.
G1 seed (analogous to foundation seed) is produced at the Bridger PMC and made available to commercial growers through the Montana Foundation Seed Program at Montana State University-Bozeman and the University of Wyoming Foundation Seed Service at Powell, Wyoming. One generation (G2 equivalent to certified) beyond G1 is recognized.
Prepared By & Species Coordinator:
Susan R. Winslow
USDA NRCS Bridger

Alternate Names
Mexican hat, yellow Mexican hat, upright prairie coneflower, long-head coneflower, columnar prairie coneflower
Uses
Ethnobotanic: Tea was made from the leaves and flower heads. Cheyenne Indians boiled prairie coneflower leaves and stems to make a solution applied externally to draw the poison out of rattlesnake bites. An infusion was used to relieve the pain of headaches and to treat stomachaches and fevers (Moerman 1998). A decoction was used as a wash to relieve pain and to treat poison ivy rash (Ibid.).
Landscaping: Prairie coneflower is suggested for use in roadside plantings, parks, recreational areas and prairie restoration projects; where annual precipitation is from ten to thirty inches. This species is sometimes grown as an ornamental.
Status
Please consult the Plants Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status, such as, state noxious status and wetland indicator values.
Description
General: Composite Family (Asteraceae). Prairie coneflower is a native perennial about a foot and a half tall. The rays are generally three to five centimeters long, much longer than the disk (solid part between the rays). The floral disk is somewhat globe-shaped, ovoid, or shortly ellipsoid, twelve to twenty millimeters high (Steyermark 1963). Prairie coneflower has well-developed leaves up to fifteen centimeters long and six centimeters wide, pinnatifid to partly bipinnatifid, with ultimate segments linear to oblong, often very unequal (Great Plains Flora Association 1986). This species has one to several stems twelve to forty-seven inches tall. The fruit is a small ashen.
Distribution: Prairie coneflower ranges from Alberta to Mexico, east to Manitoba, Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas; and New England (Steyermark 1963). For current distribution, please consult the Plant profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.
Adaptation
Ratibida columnifera grows well on loam, sandy loam, and clayey loam soils. It prefers a sunny position and well-drained rich soil types. This species is tolerant of weakly acidic to moderately alkaline soils and weak saline soils. It has low to moderate water requirements. Prairie coneflower is found on dry plains, prairies, waste ground, and along roadsides and railroads.
Establishment
Propagation by Seed: Ratibida columnifera seeds are best sown in early spring in a cold frame. Cover the seeds and place the pot in a sunny location. Optimum germination temperatures are between 68 @ PLANTS
to 86ºF, or 20 to 30ºC. Germination should be achieved in two days.
Management
Prairie coneflower seeds can be planted in the fall. If they are placed in winter storage for spring planting, they should be stratified with a cold dry treatment.
Cultivars, Improved and Selected Materials (and area of origin)
Available through native plant seed sources specializing in Great Plains species. Contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (formerly Soil Conservation Service) office for more information. Look in the phone book under ”United States Government.” The Natural Resources Conservation Service will be listed under the subheading “Department of Agriculture.”
References
Bare, J. E. 1979. Wildflowers and weeds of Kansas. The Regents Press of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas.
Bruggen, T. V. 1976. The vascular plants of South Dakota. The Iowa State University Press, Ames, Iowa.
Dorn, R. D. 1984. Vascular plants of Montana. Mountain West Publishing, Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Harrington, H. D. 1964. Manual of the plants of Colorado. 2nd ed. The Shallow Press Inc., Chicago.
Looman, J. & K. F. Best. 1994. Budd’s flora of the Canadian Prairie Provinces. Minister of Supply & Services Canada, Ottawa, Canada.
Moerman, D. 1998. Native American ethnobotany. Timber Press, Oregon.
Nelson, R. A. 1977. Handbook of Rocky Mountain plants. 2nd ed. Skyland Publishers, Estes Park, Colorado.
Sharp Brothers Seed Company 1989. Catalog of wildflowers and forbs. Sharp Brothers Seed Company, Amarillo, Texas.
Steyermark, J. A. 1963. Flora of Missouri. The Iowa State University Press, Ames Iowa.
Straughbaugh, P.