Yellow Coneflower , Ratibida pinnata

Yellow Coneflower

Ratibida pinnata

Benefits: Pollinator Benefit Graphic
Sun Shade: Plant Light Requirements Graphic
Bloom Time: Summer
Hardiness Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Soil Conditions: Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil Moisture: Medium, Dry, Moist
Color: Yellow
Fragrance: No
Height: 3 to 6 feet
Spacing: 18 inches

Yellow Coneflower (Ratibida pinnata) is a native plant which typically occurs in dry woods, prairies and along railroad tracks and roads. A somewhat rough-looking plant that features pinnately divided leaves (to 5 inches long) on stiff stems growing 3-5 feet tall. The composite flowers have a dull-gray central disk in the shape of an elongated cylinder (1 inch long), somewhat resembling the crown of a slender sombrero. When bruised, the disk smells of anise. Attached to the bottom of the disk is a brim of 3-7, extremely reflexed (downward pointing), bright yellow ray flowers (to 3 inches long).

The blooming period occurs from early to late summer, and lasts about 1-2 months. There is little or no floral scent – although the seed heads release an anise scent when they are crushed. The root system is rhizomatous, often forming tight clumps of plants. The dark achenes are without tufts of hair.

Habitats include moist to slightly dry black soil prairies, clay prairies, thickets, woodland borders, limestone glades, and areas along railroads, particularly where remnant prairies occur. Yellow Coneflower tends to colonize the more disturbed areas of these habitats.

Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun. Prefers clay or sandy soils. Tolerates poor, dry soils.

 Plant Notes and Herbal Uses
  Long summer bloom period.
  There is a tendency for the flowering stems to flop around if this plant is spoiled by too much water or fertile soil.
  Goldfinches occasionally eat the seeds.
 Further Information

 Wisconsin Fruit Trees
 Wisconsin Edible Berry Shrubs
 Widsconsin Edible Plants-Eat On The Wild Side
 8 Dandelion Recipes
 Wisconsin Native Plant Nurseries

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