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Ratibida columnifera 'Red Midget' (upright prairie coneflower)

Ratibida columnifera 'Red Midget'

upright prairie coneflower

Fun, unique flowers dance above mounds of fine green foliage from June until frost. The blooms feature long, prominent cones that give way to wide, reflexed petals in shades of deep reddish-brown, orange, and yellow. This plant is by seed, so there will be variation in the red/yellow ratio in the flowers. A native prairie plant, this dwarf variety of the species performs exceptionally well in hot and dry conditions.

SIZE
Ratibida columnifera 'Red Midget' LP50 - 50 per flat Availability
Ratibida columnifera 'Red Midget' - 72 per flat Availability
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Height

18-36 Inches

Spread

18-36 Inches

Spacing

12-18 Inches

Bloom Color

Red

USDA Hardiness Zone 3-8

upright prairie coneflower Interesting Notes

Ratibida columnifera ‘Red Midget’ is a seed selection of native prairie plant and this dwarf variety of the species performs exceptionally well in hot and dry conditions. Its fun, unique flowers dance above mounds of fine green foliage from June until frost. The blooms feature long, prominent cones that give way to wide, reflexed petals in shades of deep reddish-brown, orange, and yellow. This plant is by seed, so there will be variation in the red/yellow ratio in the flowers. One of our favorite plant combinations is ‘Red Midget’ interplanted with warm-season grasses such as Bouteloua curtipendula where the dramatic flowers interplay of the fine foliage with strong blades of grass bring a long season of delight for humans and small birds.


Ratibida columnifera generally grows 2-3’ tall with a more yellow flower. It can be found in prairie, plains, meadows, pastures, savannahs, and roadsides with well-drained, calcareous soils from British Columbia to Montana to Florida to Texas to California. It thrives in lean soils with full sun and will die out in moist, clay-based soils. Spreading easily by seed, it is very easy to grow and tolerates drought well. For continuous bloom through to October, occasional supplemental moisture may be needed in drought-prone regions.


The fine foliage contains chemicals which make it unpalatable to deer while the young foliage is very nutritious to livestock. R. columnifera is moderately competitive in its warm-season grass prairie ecosystem and does best with other plants that can hold their ground. It fulfills a structural niche in that ecosystem, providing essential food for small upland birds and nesting habitat. ‘Red Midget’ is fantastic planted in large groups or masses in sunny borders, native plant areas, meadows, and prairies.

Ratibida columnifera 'Red Midget' Growing and Maintenance Tips

This sun-loving plant does best in well drained soils and is very drought resistant. Excels in dry conditions. Propagate by seed. Excellent for naturalized, meadow and butterfly gardens as well as in mass plantings.

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Full Sun
Full Sun
Part Sun
Part Sun
Deer Resistant
Deer Resistant
Pollinator-friendly
Pollinator-friendly
Songbird-friendly
Songbird-friendly
Salt Tolerance
Salt Tolerance
Drought Tolerant
Drought Tolerant
Cut Flower
Cut Flower
Summer
Summer

Additional Information

Soil Moisture Needs
Average
Dry
Green Infrastructure
Green Roof
Plug Type
Horticultural Plug
Attributes
Native to North America
Season of Interest (Flowering)
Late Summer
Fall
Propagation Type
Seed cultivar