Mexican Hat (Ratibida columnifera)
Description: A plant branched and leafy in lower part with long leafless stalks bearing flower heads of 3-7 yellow or yellow and red-brown, drooping rays surrounding a long, red-brown central disk. Its sombrero-shaped flower heads, is usually 1 1/2 ft. tall but can reach 3 ft. Flower petals range from dark red and yellow, to all red or all yellow. The flowers central brown disk protrudes 1/2 to 2 in. above the drooping petals. Leaves on the lower portion of the stem are feathery and deeply cleft. The colorful flower heads, resembling the traditional broad-brimmed, high-centered hat worn during Mexican fiestas, often bloom by the thousands. Green Prairie Coneflower (R. tagetes) has a spherical or oblong central disk and leaves closer to the flower head.
Synonym(s): Lepachys columnaris, Lepachys columnifera, Ratibida columnaris, Ratibida columnaris var. pulcherrima, Rudbeckia columnaris, Rudbeckia columnifera
USDA Symbol: RACO3
Size Class: 1-3 ft.
Bloom Color: Yellow, Brown, Orange
Bloom Time: May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct
Water Use: Medium
Light Requirements: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
Bloom Notes: Drought Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Various well-drained, usually calcareous soils. Also Limestone-based, Caliche type, Clay, Clay Loam, Medium Loam, Sandy Loam, Sandy.
Conditions Comments: This is a drought tolerant plant that withstands competition. Plants with rich, brown-purple ray flowers are form pulcherima. Mexican Hat is a fast growing wildflower that is not fussy about soils and is easy to grow from seed. Showy flowers bloom over a long season. Foliage has a strong odor that repels deer. CAUTION: it grows aggressively and may push out other weaker species.
Use Medicinal: Tea from leaves and stalks used for stomach ache and pain in side. Tea from flower used for headache. Boiled leaves and stems used as wash for snakebite and poison ivy.
Missing Images: Plant, Leaf, Close-Up, Fruit-Seed
Data Completeness: Complete