Clasping cone flower (Dimorphotheca aurantiaca)

Clasping cone flower (Dimorphotheca aurantiaca)

Clasping coneflower is an annual herb with elongated, bluish, glaucous
leaves that generally clasp around the stem at the base. The flower heads are similar to
those of black-eyed susans, but they are smaller (mostly 1-2 inches in diameter). The
yellow outer "petals" droop as the flowers mature, and the cylindrical black center
(receptacle) is elongated up to 2 inches in length. Flowering begins in June.
Uses: This plant is used mainly for landscape beautification. It has potential for use in
cultivated, garden situations, in naturalized prairie or meadow plantings, and along
Site adaptation: It is adapted to many soil types, but it generally prefers a moist site.
Natural stands are usually found on bottomland areas with a fairly rich soil and ample
moisture. It prefers full sun and will not persist in a shaded location.

Method of establishment: Seed
Planting time: August to September

Seedbed preparation:
A firm seedbed is required. Clasping coneflower germinates best
on a clean tilled site that has been firmed with a roller or finishing harrow before planting.
Seed can also be planted into a closely mowed, chemically-killed, or burned sod area with
a light disking or harrowing that scratches the soil surface. A layer of plant residue on the
soil will interfere with seed germination.

Planting rate and method: 2-3 grams per 100 square feet (2-3 lb/acre) broadcast or
shallowly drilled. Seed should be placed close to the soil surface. Cultipacking after
planting will ensure good seed to soil contact. Seed will germinate soon after planting and
remain as a small, nondescript plant over the winter months.

Fertilizer requirement: Plant growth and seed production are greatly improved by
fertilization. Fertilizer should be applied in the spring prior to flowering. Apply according
to soil test recommendations. If not available, a rate of 3.5-5.5 oz per 100 square feet
(100-150 lb/acre) of 13-13-13 is adequate for most plantings. For seed production,
increase the fertilizer rate to 9 oz per 100 square feet (250 lb/acre).

Companion plants: Clasping coneflower is well suited to growing with a wide variety of
wildflowers and grasses. Some suggested companion wildflowers are calliopsis, blackeyed
susan, gayfeather, purple coneflower, scarlet sage, cosmos, toadflax, and ox-eye

Disking: Stands will reseed prolifically for several years, but will gradually decline
without soil disturbance. Every two to three years, the site should be disked to control
perennial weeds and promote clasping coneflower germination. August is the best month
to perform this operation.

Average planting success with this species: 80%
Height: 1 1/2-2 feet
Germination: 7-30 days
Optimum soil temperature for germination: 70F
Sowing depth: 1/16"
Blooming period: June-September
Average seeds per pound: 800,000
Seeding rate: 3 lbs. per acre
Suggested use: Roadsides, prairies, waste places, slopes.
Miscellaneous: A very heavy reseeder. Another wonderful variety for cut arrangements.

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