50 Pcs RARE MEXICAN HAT SEEDS
Description：Aptly named, this popular wildflower sports bright red and yellow petals beneath the tall center cone. This perennial is a native of the Great Plains, and so does well in hot, dry conditions.
Native coneflowers have a reputation for establishing themselves in soil that few other plants would tolerate. They have a long-lived persistence, and also attract butterflies and songbirds. English naturalist Thomas Nuttall first documented this species on one of his many expeditions throughout western America. The Latin name "columnifera" means "column," referring to the prominent center of each blossom.
Sowing: Direct sow in late fall, pressing into the surface of the soil since this plant needs light to germinate. For spring planting, mix the seeds with moist sand and store in the refrigerator for 30 days before planting. Keep the soil lightly moist until germination, which usually takes 3-4 weeks. The seeds can also be started indoors 8-10 weeks before planting in spring. Keep seedlings lightly moist, and transplant them as soon as they have developed several leaves.
Growing: Water seedlings regularly until they become established, and control weeds. When grown from seed, these plants usually begin blooming in their second year. Mature plants tolerate drought well and flourish in fairly dry soil, though they will benefit from occasional watering in dry weather. The blooming period tends to be longer with occasional watering. Mature plants can be divided every 2-3 years for healthy growth. This plant attracts butterflies and repels deer, as well as growing well in rocky, sandy, or clay soil. It makes an excellent choice for hot, dry areas.
Harvesting: For cut flowers, choose stems with flowers that have just opened. Strip the foliage that will fall below the water level, and place in water immediately.
Seed Saving: After the petals fall from the blossom, the cone will darken and develop ripe seed. As soon as the seed turns nearly black and can be rubbed loose from the cone, cut the ripe cones from the plant and spread them to dry. Thresh the plant material to separate the seed from the stems. Store the seed in a cool, dry place.
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