USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York. Vol. 3: 474.
Where Commonly Found: Forest edges, meadows, fields, disturbed sites, CT, MA, NY, VT.
How to Identify:
(For unfamiliar words: Wikipedia Glossary of Botanical Terms).
Go Botany Key to Ratibida pinnata.
Missouri Botanical Garden webpage for Ratibida pinnata.
Flower Type: Mid-June to mid-August, daisy-like composite flower on top of tall stems, gold with dark seed head. Each flower has up to 13 drooping ray florets, 1-2.5″ across with a .5-.75″ tall oblong head of disk florets, starting light green or grey and aging to dark brown.
Leaf Arrangement: Long slender, slightly ridged stems with basal leaves and a few smaller leaves progressively smaller on the stems.
Leaf Type: Irregularly shaped leaves at the bases smooth or sparely teethed, up to 8″ long by 5″ across, some of the larger basal leaves may be pinnately divided with 3-7 lobes (and sometimes subdivided further into secondary lobes). The stems support fewer and smaller lanceolate, rough leaves with tiny stiff hairs and bumps.
Height: 3′ – 5′
Seed Collection: Hairless, compressed achemes, about 1/16″ long, develop from fertile disc flowers on center cone, smells of anise when crushed.
Attracts: Bees, Butterflies, Birds
Light: Full Sun
Hardiness Zone: 3 to 8 USDA Zone Map
Note: Yellow Coneflower is a showy gold that is best planted in masses as each plant is rather narrow. Spreads through roots and seeds, so give it lots of room.
Naturalized in the Northeast (except NH and ME), native to South and Midwest US. Biota of North America Program (BONAP) – North America Plant Atlas (NAPA).