Plant Image
Watson lake - Sue Smith

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Ratibida columnifera - upright prairie coneflower

Synonyms: Lepachys columnaris, Lepachys columnifera, Ratibida columnaris, Rudbeckia columnaris, Rudbeckia columnifera
Other Common Names: Mexican hat, red-spike Mexican-hat, prairie coneflower
Plant Form: Forb

Family: Asteraceae

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Watson lake
Sue Smith
Leaves and stem
Watson lake
Sue Smith
Plant - summer
Watson lake
Sue Smith
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Perennial
General Desc: Taprooted short-lived perennial of clustered hairy stems; generally leafy to above the middle; leaves divided into relatively few, often unequal and narrow divisions; colorful flower heads well above the leaves.
Identification notes: Stems erect, hairy; basal leaves short stemmed; stem leaves alternate; leaf blades deeply cut lobes; flower heads showy, narrow dark brown cylindric arrangement of disc flowers, 4 to 12 yellow to reddish-brown ray flowers that point down.
Height: 12 to 36 inches


Habitat Description: Open areas, pine forests, along roads, grassy areas, disturbed ground.
Plant Communities: Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Montane Conifer Forest, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 5000 - 8500 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Yellow or reddish-brown or both     Shape: Daisy or dandelion-like not in clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: Jun - Nov
Description: Cylindrical yellowish-brown cone, 1 inch long of hundreds of tiny disc flowers surrounded by 4 to 12 drooping oval petals (ray flowers); 1 to 15 flower heads per plant, each on a long stalk above the leaves.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Narrow     Leaf Margin: Dissected     Leaf Attachment: Basal and alternate     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: Leaves and stems     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Stiff thin leaves, 3/4 to 6 inches long, have 3 to 14 long narrow uneven divisions, hairy and gland dotted.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Type: Achene
Fruit Notes: Upper margins and tips sometimes hairy; sometimes topped with 1 to 2 tan-colored tooth-like projections.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
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Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2020  
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