Dracopis amplexicaulis

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: clasping coneflower 
Type: Annual
Family: Asteraceae
Native Range: Southeastern and southcentral United States
Zone: 2 to 11
Height: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: July to September
Bloom Description: Yellow rays with dark brown center disk
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Drought


Annual that is easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Perhaps best in moist, organically rich soils. Tolerates light shade. Also tolerates heat, drought and a wide range of soil conditions except poorly-drained wet ones. For best results from seed in the St. Louis area, start seed indoors around March 1. Set out seedlings in the garden after last frost date. Seed may also be sown directly in the garden at last frost date. Deadhead spend flowers to encourage additional bloom and/or to prevent any unwanted self-seeding. Will remain in the garden through self-seeding.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Dracopis amplexicaulis is sometimes called clasping coneflower because its leaves clasp the stems. It is an annual that is native from Georgia to Texas north to Missouri and Kansas. In Missouri, it is typically found along roadsides, waste areas, along streams and in prairies in several counties in the western part of the state (Steyermark). This is a small-flowered glabrous composite that resembles Mexican hat (see Ratibida) in flower shape. It typically grows 18-24” tall. Flowers (to 2” across) feature columnar dark brown center disks (to 1” long), each with 5-10 drooping yellow ray flowers which may have orange or brownish-purple at the ray bases. Blooms in summer. Oblong to ovate leaves (to 4” long) are toothed to entire and clasp the stem. Steyermark lists this plant in the monotypic genus Dracopis, distinguishing it from Rudbeckia by the presence of chaff subtending the ray flowers. Synonymous with Rudbeckia amplexicaulis.

Genus name come from the Greek drakon meaning dragon for the appendages on the style.

Specific epithet means stem-clasping.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Beds, borders and native plant areas.