Ratibida columnifera, Upright Prairie Coneflower
Scientific Name: Ratibida columnifera
Common Name: Upright Prairie Coneflower
Also Called: Mexican Hat, Prairie Coneflower, Prairieconeflower and Redspike Mexican Hat
Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family
Synonyms: (Lepachys columnaris, Lepachys columnifera, Ratibida columnaris, Ratibida columnaris var. pulcherrima, Ratibida columnifera)
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.
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.