PINNATA CONEFLOWER (Ratibida pinnata),is an American prairie heirloom well-known and deservedly beloved for its unique shape and the interest it provides in a decorative border. The scientific name refers to the pinnate leaves (not a Mexican pinata, though that is an easy way to remember the scientific name). Naturalized over much of North America, it is a hardy perennial, drought tolerant and gorgeous! Best meadow grown or en masse. Blooms late spring to early fall and will bloom the first year if planted early enough. Butterflies, bees and birds love these bright yellow flowers and they are also good cutting flowers. The grey-headed center of the flowers, when crushed, smell of anise. 2-3' tall. Biennial. Hardy to zone 3. 50 seeds.
GROWING TIPS: You can direct sow in early spring as soon as the soil can be worked and while frosts are still common or in late summer about 60 days before your first frost. Otherwise, you will need to stratify the seeds. Seed stratification is the process of pretreating seeds to simulate natural conditions that a seed must endure before germination. Many seed species have what is called an embryonic dormancy and generally speaking will not sprout until this dormancy is broken. One simple way to stratify is to put the seeds in some damp sphagnum moss, put the mass in a plastic bag and place it in the crisper drawer of your fridge for a month. Put Captan fungicide on the seeds before inserting them in the moss.