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Ratibida columnifera f. pulcherrima

Ratibida columnifera f. pulcherrima
showy grey-head prairie coneflower

Common name showy grey-head prairie coneflower
Family asteraceae
Life cycle perennial (Z3-8)
Flowers yellow (summer into fall)
Size 2-3'
Light sun
From seed Flowers first year from seed sown indoors early.
detailed seed-starting info below
Seed ripenslate September

US native with pinnately divided leaves. The plain species has yellow petals (with the same narrow greenish-gray cone) - but one batch I grew developed much more dramatic burgundy/yellow bicolor flowers. This form of the species appears to be known as pulcherrima (very pretty one, in Latin), and I agree it's a showstopper when in full bloom. The hoverflies quite like it, too! Plants bloom throughout the summer - in 2007, ours started in mid-June, and were still in full bloom in late September.
It came to my garden in the guise of a different species, R. pinnata, but that one is taller, with a darker coloration to the cone (see comment below). I'm glad to have it, but unfortunately, it's not long-lasted in our garden, and doesn't reliably self-seed. So I periodically re-establish it from seed.

This plant used to grow in our garden, but it slipped away...

One or more images of this plant are included in my stock photo catalog

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from '06 trade. Baggy 35F (24d; 16%G, 24d) - 70F (20%G, 2-4d)
  2. Seed from '07 garden. Baggy 35F (16d; 30%G, 16d) - 70F (65%G, 1-2d)
  3. Seed from '08 garden. Baggy 35F (2w; some signs of G) - 70F (60%G, 1-5d)
  4. Same seed as above. Baggy 35F (2w) - 70F (33%G, 3-6d)

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Last modified: March 26, 2012
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