E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Ratibida columnifera (Nutt.) Wooton & Standl.
prairie coneflower (upright prairie coneflower)
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Ian Gardiner  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #24335)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Ratibida columnifera
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
Click on the map dots to view record details.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.

Biennial or perennial herb from a taproot and short woody stem-base; stems erect, several, branched above, 0.3-1.2 m tall, stiffly coarse-hairy.
Basal leaves lacking; stem leaves alternate, pinnately cut, the segments linear or lanceolate and entire, coarsely short stiff-hairy, 10-20 cm long, 2-7 cm wide.
Heads with ray and disk flowers, few to numerous, terminal at the ends of branches; disks columnar, grey to yellow, becoming purplish-brown, mostly 1.5-4.0 cm tall, 5-20 mm wide; involucral bracts 5-10 mm long, lanceolate, reflexed when mature, hairy; ray flowers yellow or rarely purplish, 1.5-4.5 cm long, reflexed, usually 3-7; disk flowers dark, columnar.
Achenes flattened, fringed with small hairs and slightly winged on the inner margin and tip, grey-black, about 2 mm long; pappus an evident bristle-tooth on the inner angle of the achene, often with a shorter one on the outer angle.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Mid Summer
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Dry grasslands and shrublands in the steppe zone; frequent locally in SE BC; E to MB and S to MN, MO, AR, TX and WA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Lepachys columnaris (Pursh) T. & G.
Lepachys columnifera (Nutt.) J.F. Macbr.
Ratibida columnaris (Pursh) D. Don
Ratibida columnaris var. pulcherrima (DC.) D. Don
Rudbeckia columnaris Pursh, non Sims
Rudbeckia columnifera Nutt.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

General References