Ratibida, Grey Headed Coneflower, Mexican Hats, Red Coneflower, Red Hats, Upright Prairie Coneflower 'Red'

Ratibida columnifera

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ratibida (ruh-TIB-ih-duh) (Info)
Species: columnifera (kol-um-NEE-fer-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Red
Synonym:Rudbeckia columnaris
Synonym:Ratibida columnaris
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Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Unknown - Tell us

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

Direct sow as soon as the ground can be worked

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Saint David, Arizona

Pacific Junction, Iowa

Wichita, Kansas

Blair, Nebraska

Imperial, Nebraska

Hazlet, New Jersey

El Paso, Texas

Mc Lean, Virginia

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

New Lisbon, Wisconsin

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 29, 2013, MurrayTX from El Paso, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I have several mounds of these growing in intense full sun in a raised bed of mostly sand and minimal organic matter, and they look beautiful for 8 months of the year. Heat barely fazes them. Multiple light freezes cause no damage. Although they do seed heavily, they have been very slow to invade, allowing other plants to live nearby. I use their 2-3ft height to provide some shade to their neighbors and a windbreak in the winter. And oddly, they did appear and survive very well in a heavily shaded area under a tree where I had mistakenly tossed many seedheads. They bloomed less than the full sun ones, but still did bloom and looked healthy. I suggest these wildflowers for all cottage/bee gardens. I haven't killed any accidentally despite erratic watering and rare feedings.


On Apr 23, 2008, pennefeather from McLean, VA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Although the flowers are pretty, they are small, and the stalks are weak. I found that many of the flowers trailed close to the ground. When surrounded by other upright flowers, it is not impressive.


On Feb 8, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

Bushy 4' plant, red drooping petals on a central cone. Hardy to zone 4. Used as a cut flower. Attracts butterflies.