Every spring the Texas Hill Country wildflowers I await most fervently are the vivid, colorful, surreal Mexican Hats. And now they’re back!
Why are they called Mexican Hats? Read on about the habits of Ratibida columnaris. And just like most Aggies (the horticulture experts at Texas A&M), I think they’re outstanding* in their field:
Ratibida columnaris (Asteraceae)
A robust, drought tolerant annual to perennial variety native to the mid-west and has naturalized throughout North America. The characteristic black, cone-shaped heads are surrounded by drooping, fire-red ray flowers with a splash of yellow accent. At maturity the upright branching stems may become woody. Prefers full sun in well drained soil. *Outstanding in hot-humid climates.
Average planting success with this species: 70%
Height: 2-3 feet
Germination: 20-40 days
Optimum soil temperature for germination: 68-75F
Sowing depth: 1/16″
Blooming period: June-September
Average seeds per pound: 1,230,200
Seeding rate: 1 lb. per acre
Suggested use: Prairies, roadsides, waste places, slopes.
Miscellaneous: An excellent variety for cut flower arrangements lasting 5 to 10 days.
Flower: resembles a colorful Mexican sombrero, hence the name, Mexican Hat.