Category:  Nature Photography | Posted: September 10, 2017

RATIBIDA columnifera in my gardens.

....The 'Mexican Hat'

by PeglegDeb

Another of my favorite late-season blossoms is my little bed of RATIBIDA columnifera. The species name columnifera means 'in the shape of a column' which, of course, describes the most distinguishing feature, the tall central cone....which also clearly inspires it's AKA name- 'Mexican Hat' The cone starts out grey early in the season and as it matures (as it has in this image) it becomes a head of tiny, hairy, narrowly winged, brown seeds.

As was the case w/ the RUDBECKIA I posted a week or so ago Native Americans utilized every single part of the RATIBIDA medicinally. They used a concoction of leaves and stems to treat pain, poison ivy and rattlesnake bites and an infusion was made from the blossoms themselves to treat headache, stomachache, cough, fever and epileptic fits. Additionally, since this may be one of the most yellow of all my yellow flowers it is not surprising to find that they produced an orange-yellow dye by boiling the flowers.

This flower is extremely popular w/ birds and bees....and apparently w/ domestic livestock out on the American Plains where it grows wild. Took me a couple of seasons when I first started my gardens to realize it was ALSO very popular w/ all the Deer around my The variety seen in the image here (photographed mid-afternoon on a partly sunny day) is specifically advertised as 'deer resistant'. Problem solved!

Post Type Photography Mixed Media None
My gardens mid-afternoon on a partly sunny day. Cropped and sharpened just a bit. Narrow border. All manual settings.

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