As the common name suggests, this prairie plant resembles a coneflower (Echinacea species) in appearance with the conelike center and downward hanging petals. It is a great plant for any sunny location with medium to dry soil. It can reach about 5 feet in height and makes a nice companion to any prairie grass like Little Bluestem.
This plant seems to be a good survivor in areas that were formerly prairies. I have seen it growing throughout much of west central and southern Minnesota along roadsides and the edges of farmland. It is quite noticeable even at highway speeds because of its height and bright yellow flower color.
A large patch of Gray Headed Coneflower in a prairie is a wonderful site to see with the petals waving in the wind.