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Grayheaded Coneflower

( Ratibida pinnata )


Grayheaded Coneflower
Greyheaded Coneflower
Yellow Coneflower
Pinnate Prairie Coneflower
Ratibida pinnata
(Ventenat) Barnhart
Lepachys pinnata
Rudbeckia pinnata



Sun, Partial Shade

Sand, Loam

Dry, Normal, Moist




Habitat Considerations

Mixedwood Plains

Savannah, Forest Edge, Prairie/Meadow/Field

Rooftop Garden (drought tolerant/shallow rooted), Butterfly, Woodland, Prairie/Meadow
Design Considerations

45 cm

180 cm

Jun - Sep









Birds, Butterflies, Bees

Conservation Status

Interesting Tidbits

Birds will feed heavily on the seeds. Deer and livestock will also graze on it.The plants are easy to start from seeds that mature in the fall, or plants can be divided in early spring and fall. Aboriginal peoples used it for medical conditions including making a tea from it. (USDA PLANTS) Several years ago I planted 4 acres of these along the Loyalist Parkway and this year they were spectacular. We used the green sprayed binder for the first time in Canada for wildflowers. (Court Noxon) Habitat Information: This plant thrives in arid soil. It is a native coneflower, a plant of tall grass prairies in extreme South Western Ontario. The yellow ray florets are angled strongly downward. (Evergreen) Garden Uses: It is a great xeriscape plant because of its adaptation to most dry of soils. (Lorraine Johnson, The New Ontario Naturalized Garden). This plant is one of the more popular plants at more ornamental nurseries, because of its quite showy flower, clumping habit (not as tall, and not as self seeding and aggressive as the larger green headed coneflower) great for prairie and meadow gardens. (Evergreen) Insect Relationships: Natural Enemies Attracted: Medium numbers of Chalcidoidea, Orius insidiousus, and Thomisidae. Small numbers of Empididae, Syrphidae, Salticidae, Nabidae, Dolichopodidae, Chlamydatus associatus, Aeolothripidae, Chrysopidae, Braconidae, Cynipoidea and Plagiognathus politus. Pests Attracted: Large numbers of lygus bugs. Medium numbers of leafhoppers. Small numbers of thrips, leaf beetles, Japanese beetles, aphids, froghoppers and tephritid fruit flies. Bees attracted: Moderate numbers (between 1-5 bees per meter square in a 30 second sample) of bees including sweat bees, digger bees, cuckoo bees, small and large carpenter bees, and bumble bees. Species Notes: This species was the fourth most attractive mid season plant, with more than two times more natural enemies than in the grass control."" Traditional Edible Medicinal Uses: Ratibida pinnata root was used to cure toothache ((Fielder, 1975) as cited in USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service). Green Roofs: This plant has been used with great success on green roofs that have 5 inches of soil.

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