Upright Prairie Coneflower (Ratibida columnifera) Thimbleflower Prairie Wildflowers Open Pollinated Heirloom Herb
Height 1.5 ft - 3 ft
The Upright Prairie Coneflower wears a hat of many different names!
Also known as Mexican Hat, Red-spike Mexican Hat, Prairie Coneflower, Long-headed Coneflower, and the Thimbleflower. Colorful flower heads resemble the traditional broad-brimmed and high centered hats worn during Mexican fiestas. Plants often bloom by the thousands!
The lower part of this plant is branched and has feathery deeply cleft leaves. The top portion has a long leafless upper stalk that holds a sombrero shaped flower head with 3 to 7 petals that droop like a sombrero brim, and are surrounded by a long, red-brown central disk that protrudes 1/2 to 2 in above the drooping petals. Flower petals range from dark red and yellow, to all red, or all yellow.
- Ratibida grows easily in many soil types except poorly drained soils.
- Full sun
- Start indoors: requires vernalization – wrap planted pots in plastic and store in the fridge for 1 week, and then provide heat approx 20°-24°C (68°-75°F). Do this step 4-6 weeks before planting out. Start transplants in a cold frame in early spring and harden off gradually before planting out after all risk of frost has passed.
- OR direct sow in May to June.
- Germinates in 7-42 days
- Attracts butterflies and birds.
- Self sows. Harvest seeds for next years plants.
- These plants prefer drier soil, and can tolerate drought. Water only during especially dry periods
- Medicinal Uses: The leaves and stems are analgesic. An infusion is used to relieve the pain of headaches and to treat stomach aches and fevers. A decoction is used as a wash to relieve pain and to treat poison ivy rash.
- Seed Count: 30