Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Ratibida columnifera, Upright Prairie Coneflower

Ratibida columnifera, Upright Prairie Coneflower, Southwest Desert Flora Ratibida columnifera, Upright Prairie Coneflower, Southwest Desert Flora Ratibida columnifera, Upright Prairie Coneflower, Southwest Desert Flora   Ratibida columnifera, Upright Prairie Coneflower, Southwest Desert Flora

Scientific Name: Ratibida columnifera
Common Name: Upright Prairie Coneflower
Also Called: Mexican Hat, Prairie Coneflower, Prairieconeflower, Redspike Mexican Hat
Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family
Synonyms: (Lepachys columnaris, Lepachys columnifera, Ratibida columnaris, Ratibida columnaris var. pulcherrima, Ratibida columnifera)
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial
Size: Up to 3 feet.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; multiple stems, minute stiff hairs; lower plant leafy, long flowering stalks (inflorescence).
Leaves: Green; alternate, pinnately lobed, linear to lanceolate, entire.
Flower Color: Yellow; variable, ray flowers ovate; drooping, disk flowers brown on columnar receptacle; flower heads to 3 inches on leafless stalks in clusters of 3 to many; fruit an achene.
Flowering Season: June to November.
Elevation: 5,000 to 7,500 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Prairies throughout much of its range, sunny open areas in pine forests, dry rocky slopes, plains and roadsides.

Recorded Range: Throughout the United States, Canada and northern Mexico. In Arizona it is found in the north and eastern part of the state and in Santa Cruz County.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Ratibida columnifera.

U.S. Weed Information: No data available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No data available.
Wetland Indicator: No data available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No data available.

Genus Information: 4 species in Ratibida throughout the United States and Canada. 2 species in Arizona.

Comments: Upright Prairie Coneflower has large attractive multi colored flowers and is commonly cultivated as ornamentals. They are popular landscape plants for both homeowner use and by state highway departments for roadside restoration and beautification projects.

The scientific epithet "columnifera" is a reference to its large, up to 2 inches, columnar receptacle that the disk flowers sit on.

May be confused with Cutleaf Coneflower, Rudbeckia laciniata.

Upright Prairie Coneflower was used medicinally by Native Americans for poison ivy rash, rattlesnake bites and other ailments. View species account from Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.

Date Profile Completed: 05/26/2012, rev. 08/23/2012; Updated, 07/26/2015, updated format 10/11/2017
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles
Lowell E. Urbatsch, Patricia B. Cox, FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 21 | Asteraceae | Ratibida, Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford. (accessed 08/23/2012)
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names and recorded geographic locations,