Common Name: grey-head coneflower
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Native Range: Central North America
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to August
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun
Tolerate: Drought, Clay Soil
Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun. Prefers clay or sandy soils. Tolerates poor, dry soils.
Ratibida pinnata, commonly called gray headed coneflower, is a Missouri native plant which typically occurs in dry woods, prairies and along railroad tracks and roads. A somewhat rough-looking plant that features pinnately divided leaves (to 5" long) on stiff stems growing 3-5' tall. The composite flowers have a dull-gray central disk in the shape of an elongated cylinder (1 inch long), somewhat resembling the crown of a slender sombrero. When bruised, the disk smells of anise. Attached to the bottom of the disk is a brim of 3-7, extremely reflexed (downward pointing), bright yellow ray flowers (to 3" long). Long summer bloom period.
Genus name of uncertain origin.
Specific epithet is in reference to the pinnate leaves.
No serious insect or disease problems. May need staking or other support.
Interesting plant for the sunny border, native plant garden, meadow or prairie. Best massed because individual plants are narrow and somewhat sparsely leafed.