Prairie ConeflowerRatibida columnifera (Nutt.) Woot. & Standl.
This colourful prairie perennial provides nectar for pollinators like butterflies and bees. It is commonly called Mexican Hat, due to its sombrero-shaped flower heads. In moist, fertile soils, these plants do not compete well with those that are taller and more aggressive. They spread to new areas by self-seeding. Although the strong scent of their foliage repels deer, leaves can be used to make tea, and plants have other medicinal uses.
Canadian Rarity Status:
Not rare. Listed as “exotic” in Ontario.
The sometimes-branching stems grow 30-50 cm. Leaves are alternate, commonly irregular, and divided into 5-11 slender lobes. Flowering heads occur on long stalks at the tops of branches. Numerous disc florets are surrounded by 4-11, drooping ray florets with notched tips. Each head is backed by two whorls of small, narrow bracts. Fruits are small, oblong, achenes topped by one or two small scales.
Black-eyed Susan, Common Tickseed (Coreopsis tinctoria Nutt.)
Seeds and/or plants are typically available from greenhouses and seed supply companies specializing in native plants. Plants are a good addition to butterfly and prairie garden, and are easy to grow from seeds.
- British Columbia
- Fescue Prairie
- Mixed Grass Prairie
- Full Sun