Ratibida pinnata Prairie Coneflower 
Grayhead Coneflower Yellow Coneflower seed & plants
Seed & Plants
(ruh-TIB-ih-duh  pin-AH-tuh)
Easyliving Native Perennial Wildflowers
Native Wild Flower Seeds & Plants for Home Landscaping & Prairie Restoration

Ratibida pinnata Prairie Coneflower Grayhead Coneflower picture Habitat Bloom Period Color Height Inches Moisture Plant Spacing Lifespan
Ratibida pinnata, grayhead coneflower picture, prairie coneflower Sun to Medium Shade June and July Yellow 36 - 48 Dry to moist 12 to 30 Inches Perennial

 additional photo Photos by cj  

For other flowers visit the wildflower seed list , to order copy the orderform or 
email questions, comments, and orders to john@easywildflowers.com  
Ratibida pinnata Prairie Grayhead Coneflower potted plants are available $5.00 plus UPS shipping

Ratibida pinnata seed
Prairie Coneflower, 
Grayhead Coneflower seed

number of seeds

approximate coverage
in square feet

1 packet -  $2.50 + shipping


40 sq ft

1 ounce - $9.50


1,690 sq ft

1 pound -----------


27,000 sq ft

Ratibida pinnata, Pinnate Prairie Coneflower is often called Yellow coneflower because of its drooping petticoat of yellow petals or Gray-head Coneflower for its gray seed head.  The crushed seed heads have a sharply aromatic anise scent.  Native Prairie Coneflower will tolerate a wide range of conditions but grows best in rich, well drained soil and full sun where it will create a dramatic show.  It is best used in a butterfly garden or prairie meadow and for cut flowers.  Yellow coneflower is also the common name for Echinacea paradoxa, a completely different native wildflower.  Pinnate Prairie Coneflower seeds are eaten by songbirds and it's flowers attract butterflies.

Native Ratibida pinnata seed germination is improved after a pretreatment of 4 to 6 weeks of cold moist stratification or when planted outside in the fall or early winter.

Native Ratibida pinnata Prairie Grayhead Coneflower is an aromatic plant occurring naturally in borders of woods and prairies from Ontario and New York to Minnesota, South Dakota, and Nebraska, south to Georgia and Texas.  Asteraceae (Aster Family)
Alternative Names
gray-head prairie coneflower, drooping coneflower, yellow coneflower, pinnate prairie coneflower

 Ethnobotanic: Ratibida pinnata root was used to cure toothache (Fielder 1975).

 Landscaping &Wildlife
Yellow coneflower is a strong survivor of former prairies where the majority of the original plants have perished.  This is a long lived species and is best to plant where there is competition from other plants.  The seed heads are eaten by birds in late fall.  Ratibida pinnata flowers attract several different butterfly species.

Ratibida pinnata Grayhead Coneflower is in the Sunflower family (Asteraceae).  Prairie Grayhead coneflower is a native perennial herb growing from a woody caudex up to one meter or taller.  The leaves are pinnantely compound, mostly with five to seven lanceolate segments, with harsh and scurfy surfaces (Bruggen 1976).  The disk flowers are usually gray at first becoming brown with age.  When the disk heads are crushed, an odor of anise is emitted.  Each flower has its own stalk and five to eight yellow, drooping petals arranged in a cone shape.

 Ratibida pinnata occurs in prairies, thickets, and borders of woods.  It is often found along roadsides and railroad right-of-ways.  Prairie Grayhead coneflower grows best on loam, clay, and sandy soil types that are from medium moisture to dry.  It prefers calcareous soils that are neutral pH 6-7, but will grow in sunny locations with well-drained soils, and is often found in wet mesic, mesic and dry mesic sites.

Propagation by Seed
: Ratibida pinnata seeds are best planted in the spring or fall. Generally the seeds does not need any pre-treatment.  They can be stratified at 33 to 38F for thirty days.

Harvesting of seeds should be done from October through November.  The cones should be clipped form the stem and placed into a bucket to rub the seeds off the cone to be used for propagation.

Yellow coneflower ranges from Ontario and New York to Minnesota, South Dakota, and Nebraska, south to Georgia, Arkansas and Oklahoma (Steyermark 1963). 

The map below shows areas where native grayhead yellow coneflower grows wild, it is hardy over a much wider area if planted.  Plant in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 to 9.

Ratibida pinnata
Prairie Coneflower



New York

South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia

State Distributional Map for Ratibida pinnata, prairie coneflower wild flower seed

Use the chart below for shipping charges on 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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Easyliving Wildflowers
PO Box  522
Willow Springs,  Mo.  65793
phone-fax 417-469-2611 

Ratibida pinnata gray-head yellow prairie coneflower, drooping coneflower, pinnate prairie coneflower Yellow 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.