Gray-headed Coneflowers on a prairie at the Mines of Spain
in Dubuque, Iowa. USA
Ratibida pinnata (Gray-headed Coneflower)
Plant Info Also known as: Pinnate Prairie Coneflower, Yellow Coneflower
Family: Asteraceae (Aster)
Life cycle: perennial
Habitat: sun; fields, prairies, along roads
Bloom season: June – August
Plant height: 3 to 7 feet
Flower: Flower shape: 7+petals
Up to 15 droopy yellow petals, each about 2 inches long, surround a thimble-shaped cone ½ to ¾ inches tall. The cone is gray or greenish and turns brown, flowering from the bottom up. One plant has from 10 to 25 flowers, each at the end of a long stem.
Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf type: lobed
Leaves near the base of the plant are up to 8 inches long and 5 inches across, deeply divided into 3 to 7 narrow lobes, on fairly long stems. Lobes may be further divided, or coarsely toothed. The leaves on the upper part of the plant are usually small, unlobed, stalkless, and few in number. Leaves feel rough from short stiff hairs. The stem is ridged and hairy.