Mexican hat is a native prairie wildflower in the Asteraceae family, also known as the sunflower family. It is readily recognized by its head of large rich-yellow drooping ray florets and dark reddish-brown dish florets.
The forage value of Mexican hat is fair for cattle and wildlife. The achenes from prairie coneflower are eaten by wild turkey. When there is a dense covering of plants, bobwhite quail use them for cover.
Butterflies are attracted to them for their sweet nectar.
Native Americans used the plants to make tea, cure headaches, stomach pains and hemorrhages. They also boiled the stems and leaves making a solution that was applied to rattlesnake bites and cases of poison ivy. Black, brown, green and yellow dyes can be extracted from the plants.
Mexican hat is a popular ornamental plant for gardens.