• Overview
    Light Needs:
    Partial to full sun
    Watering Needs:
    Once established, water occasionally; more in extreme heat.
    Average Landscape Size:
    Upright habit; quickly reaches 24 to 30 in. tall, 12 in. wide.
    Key Feature:
    Colorful Summer Flowers
    Blooms:
    Summer
    Landscape Uses:
  • Detail
    Botanical Pronunciation:ra-ti-BI-da co-lum-NI-fera
    Plant type:Perennial
    Deciduous/evergreen:Herbaceous
    Sunset climate zones:1 - 24, 26 - 43
    Growth rate:Fast
    Average landscape size:Upright habit; quickly reaches 24 to 30 in. tall, 12 in. wide.
    Foliage color:Green
    Blooms:Summer
    Flower color:Yellow
    Garden styleCottage, Rustic, Xeric
    Design IdeasA super addition to the perennial border. Spot into sunny mixed plantings for fiery color. A perfect choice for the native and wild garden, particularly in the dryland prairie meadow. Integrates very well with southwestern natives and xeriscape gardens. A nectar source for wildlife and butterfly gardens.
    Companion PlantsScotch Broom (Cytisus); Yarrow (Achillea); Coneflower (Echinacea); Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium); Russian Sage (Perovskia)
  • Care
    Care Information
    Grows easily in average to lean, well-drained soils. Avoid heavy, wet clay. Shelter from harsh afternoon sun in hottest regions. Water deeply, regularly during the first growing season to establish an extensive root system. Once established, reduce frequency; tolerates moderate drought. Fertilize before new spring growth.
    Light Needs:
    <strong>Partial Sun / Partial Shade</strong>: These two terms are often used interchangeably to mean 3-6 (or 4-6) hours of sunlight each day. However, there is a difference.
<strong>Partial shade</strong> typically means the plants will appreciate a more gentle exposure such as the weaker morning or early afternoon sun, with the emphasis on providing the minimum needed shade and sheltering from intense late afternoon sun. <strong>Partial sun</strong> typically means the plants <u>need</u> some direct sun, so the emphasis is on meeting the required minimum hours of sunlight, with filtered sunlight or shade the balance of the day.
Both are best with shelter from the harshest late afternoon sun. This shade could be provided by a structure, a wall, larger plants or  tree(s).
    Partial to full sun
    Watering Needs:
    Water needs: Low
    Once established, water occasionally; more in extreme heat.
  • History & Lore
    History:
    This native of the Midwestern prairie grassland tends to occur in the drier part of the range. This flower is a member of the Composite family which is the largest, containing 900 genera and 10,000 different species. This genus classified first as Lepachys by Constantino Rafinesque-Schmaltz 1784-1842, professor of natural history in Lexington, Kentucky. It was he who later reclassified the plant into genus Ratibida, but why he chose the odd name remains unknown. This plant is often confused with the similar genus Rudbeckia and was for a time classified among them. Its current species was given by Elmer Wooton of Arlington, Virginia and his associate Paul Standley of the Chicago Natural History Museum. The name describing the central seed cone of the flower that elongates as it matures.
    Lore:
    Native Americans created a medicinal tea of this plant's stems and leaves to relieve skin pain and snakebites.