Ratibida columnifera syn R. columnaris, Rudbeckia columnaris
This iconic tap-rooted perennial wildflower in the daisy/sunflower family is sure to cheer up any garden! Dark red to maroon flower heads fringed with yellow and shaped like a sombrero are formed on tall leafless stems in mid summer, and look spectacular en masse in wild perennial plantings. They are a great source of nectar, attracting bees, butterflies and other insects (and hummingbirds in their native habitat!). The species epithet ‘columnifera’ means bearing columns, in reference to the tall cylindrical flower heads. These drought hardy plants are native to the North American prairies and deserts, sunny open areas in pine forests, dry rocky slopes, plains, roadsides and disturbed areas, and bloom over a long period in hot, dry summers.
Mexican Hat is used medicinally for a multitude of purposes by North American indigenous peoples. The leaves and stems are analgesic. Hot and cold infusions are used for fevers, headaches, stomachaches and chest pains, and decoctions of the leaves and stems are used to treat rashes and snake bites. A pleasant herbal tea can be made from the leaves and flowers.
The flowers yield an orange-yellow dye and are also good as a cut flower.
Height to 75cm when in flower. Requires full sun and well drained soil. Very drought hardy once established.
Certified organic plant in 9cm pot.
Photo credits: http://southwestdesertflora.com/WebsiteFolders/All_Species/Asteraceae/Ratibida%20columnifera,%20Upright%20Prairie%20Coneflower.html