Mexican Hat (Ratibida columnifera)

I have Mexican Hat around my house. I brought seed in from a few miles away. Very easy perennial from seed, but it has a deep taproot and does not transplant well

Mexican Hat (Ratio da columnifera)

Mexican Hat (Ratibida columnifera)

As you can see, this Mexican Hat has solid rust-red flower petals.  My Texas acreage had mostly solid yellow flowers with a few of the yellow-rust.  Although it doesn’t have the visual punch from a distance that yellow gives, I like this color.  All of the seeds came from rust-red flowers and all have rust-red like the mama.

Mexican Hat

Mexican Hat

This is a second year plant and will make a fine show until frost.  You can see the seeds forming at the base of the cone and they will fill the cone and drop off.

Mexican Hat is browsed by livestock but not deer, and attracts butterflies and bees.  It is edible but not tasty, and so common through most of the US that it is a survival food.  If you have something to go with it, it makes a decent tea.

Medicinally the leaves and stems are used as a pain reliever and fever reducer.  It has been used as a wash to draw out snakebite venom.

Scientific tests show it has some anticancer properties, but without strong results.  Now and again I nibble a leaf or two when I am outside.  Just checking.  It still tastes bad.

My Mexican Hats are about 30 inches this year, but they can be 12-36 inches depending on rainfall.  The year I collected seed, they were all 12 inches.  During the Year of the Giants (24″ rain), all became 36 inches tall.

These perennials are tolerant of drought (no supplemental water at even at 12 inches rain) and are long lived, putting on a show all summer and fall.  Mexican Hat, always a favorite for wildflower gardens and orderly beds.



About rebeccatreeseed

I am a naturalist raised by naturalists. Treeseed is my earned name, while Rebecca is my birth name. I am of Northern European descent, with a quarter Irish.quarter thrown in. I suspect I was a product of northern invaders into Ireland into Ireland. but hard to say since DNA disproved the family story about Apache blood! I have found some odd ancestors to replace them. Last year I bought 5 acres of pinyon-juniper forest on the side of a mountain in Santa Fe County, New Mexico. I am fulfilling a lifetime dream of a cabin in the mountains and a food forest that will feed me and local wildlife. I want to share this new phase of my life with others that might be interested.
This entry was posted in Bees, Circular Economy, food forest, gardening, medicinal plants, permaculture, Prepper and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Mexican Hat (Ratibida columnifera)

  1. Helen says:

    They look quite comical in a nice kind of way 😊.

  2. Helen, they are funny things, I love them. It is amazing the number of species we have here.

  3. Helen says:

    Yes, fascinating for me from the outside.

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