Pinnate Prairie Coneflower (Pinnata)

The Pinnate Prairie Coneflower (Pinnata) is generally described as a perennial forb/herb. This is native to the U.S. (United States) has its most active growth period in the spring and summer . The Pinnate Prairie Coneflower (Pinnata) has green foliage and inconspicuous yellow flowers, with a moderate amount of conspicuous brown fruits or seeds. The greatest bloom is usually observed in the late spring, with fruit and seed production starting in the summer and continuing until fall. Leaves are not retained year to year. The Pinnate Prairie Coneflower (Pinnata) has a moderate life span relative to most other plant species and a moderate growth rate. At maturity, the typical Pinnate Prairie Coneflower (Pinnata) will reach up to 4 feet high, with a maximum height at 20 years of 0 inches.

The Pinnate Prairie Coneflower (Pinnata) is easily found in nurseries, garden stores and other plant dealers and distributors. It can be propagated by container, seed. It has a slow ability to spread through seed production and the seedlings have medium vigor. Note that cold stratification is not required for seed germination and the plant cannot survive exposure to temperatures below -38°F. has medium tolerance to drought and restricted water conditions.

Uses of : Landscaping, Medicinal, Culinary, etc.

Ethnobotanic: Ratibida pinnata root was used to cure toothache (Fielder 1975).

Landscaping &Wildlife: Yellow coneflower is a strong survivor of former prairies where the majority of the original plants have perished. This is a long live species and is best to plant where there is competition from other plants. The seed heads are eaten by birds in the late fall. The flowers attract several different butterfly species.

General Characteristics

General: Sunflower family (Asteraceae). Yellow coneflower is a native perennial herb growing from a woody caudex up to one meter or taller. The leaves are pinnantely compound, mostly with five to seven lanceolate segments, with harsh and scurfy surfaces (Bruggen 1976). The disk flowers are usually gray at first becoming brown with age. When the disk heads are crushed, an odor of anise is emitted. Each flower has its own stalk and five to eight yellow, drooping petals arranged in a cone shape.

Required Growing Conditions

Yellow coneflower ranges from Ontario and New York to Minnesota, South Dakota, and Nebraska, south to Georgia, Arkansas and Oklahoma (Steyermark 1963). For current distribution, please consult the Plant profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.

Adaptation This species occurs in prairies, thickets, and borders of woods. It is often found along roadsides and railroad right-of-ways. Yellow coneflower grows best on loam, clay, and sandy soil types that are from medium moisture to dry. It prefers calcareous soils that are neutral pH 6-7, but will grow in sunny locations with well-drained soils, and is often found in wet mesic, mesic and dry mesic sites.

Cultivation and Care

Propagation by Seed: Ratibida pinnata seeds are best planted in the spring or fall. Generally the seeds does not need any pre-treatment. They can be stratified at 33 to 38ºF for thirty days.

General Upkeep and Control

Harvesting of seeds should be done from October through November. The cones should be clipped form the stem and placed into a bucket to rub the seeds off the cone to be used for propagation. RHAR4"Fragrant sumac reportedly sprouts vigorously after fire in the southern Great Plains, and the primary mode of colonization after disturbance is through sprouting from the adventitious-bud root crown. "

Plant Basics
Growth Rate Moderate
General Type Forb/herb
Growth Period Spring, Summer
Growth Duration Perennial
Lifespan Moderate
Plant Nativity Native to U.S.
Commercial Availability Routinely Available
Physical Characteristics
Bloom Period Late Spring
Displays Fall Colors No
Shape/Growth Form Single Crown
Drought Tolerance Medium
Shade Tolerance Intolerant
Height When Mature 4
Vegetative Spread None
Flower Color Yellow
Flower Conspicuousness Yes
Fruit/Seed Abundance Medium
Fruit/Seed Seasonality Summer Fall
Seed Spread Rate Slow
Gardening Characteristics
Propagations (Ways to Grow) Container, Seed
Moisture Requirements Medium
Cold Stratification Required No
Minimum Temperature -38
Soil Depth for Roots 14
Toxic to Nearby Plants No
Toxic to Livestock No
After-Harvest Regrowth Rate Slow
After-Harvest Resprout Ability No
Responds to Coppicing No
Growth Requirements
pH Range 5.6–6.8 pH
Precipitation Range 18–18 inches/yr
Planting Density 2700–4800 indiv./acre
Soil Textures Coarse, Medium
Soil Depth for Roots 14
Minimum Frost-Free Days 100 day(s)
Salinity Tolerance None
CaCO3 Tolerance Low
Sustainability & Use
Leaf Retention No
Palatability Medium
Fire Resistant No
Causes Livestock Bloating None

Source: USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database,
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA