Wednesday, July 27, 2011



Ratibida columnifera ( Mexican Hat )
A long lived perennial, reaching a maximum size of 4.5 x 2.5 ( rarely over 3 ) feet, that is native to dry prairie in central North America ( from Mackenzie, British Columbia to Red Deer, Alberta to southern Saskatchewan to southern Manitoba; south to northern Mexico to Texas ).
The hairy, very deeply lobed leaves, up to 6 inches in length, are gray-green. The leaves are composed of 5 to 7 lobes. The leaves may be used to make a pleasant tasting tea.
The flowers have bright yellow petals, up to 2 inches in length, and dark cones.
The flowers are borne mid-summer to mid-autumn. The flowers have drooping petals.
The flowers attract butterflies.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 in full sun to partial shade on very well drained,fertile soil. Easy to establish and very drought tolerant.

* photo taken on Jul 17 2017 in Ottawa, ON

'Mexican Hat'
Reaches up to 2 x 1.5 feet, with very profuse, bright red flowers with yellow petal tips.

Reaches up to 4 x 2.5 feet, with deep red flowers.

Ratibida pinnata ( Gray Headed Coneflower )
Also called Prairie Coneflower. A strong stemmed perennial, reaching a maximum size of 6 x 3 feet, that is native to dry open woods and sandy prairies in central North America ( from northwest Minnesota to Michigan's Upper Peninsula to Grand Bend, Ontario to southwest Pennsylvania; south to central Oklahoma to central Alabama to northern Georgia ). It is endangered in Ontario, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Alabama. In the Windsor/Essex County, Ontario region; it is best seen at the Ojibway Prairie Complex in Windsor.
The pinnate compound leaves are composed of toothed, lance-shaped leaflets. The foliage is blue-green. The leaves may be used to make a pleasant tasting tea.
The flowers have a dark cone and drooping golden-yellow petals up to 2.5 inch in length. The flowers are borne mid summer to early autumn. The flowers are attractive to butterflies.
Experiments have been done in regards to this plants potential as a perennial seed crop. Up to 1400 pound of seed per acre can be produced on a 3 year old plot.
The leaves make a pleasant tasting tea.
Hardy zones 3 to 7 in full sun on very well drained soil. Tolerant of heat, drought, flooding and heavy clay.
Propagation is from seed. Resistant to rabbit and deer.

* photos of unknown internet source

* photo taken on June 30 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photos taken on July 26 2015 @ Niagara Parks Bot. Gardens, Niagara Falls, ON

* photos taken on July 18 2016 in Grand Bend, ON

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