Grows in moist to slightly dry black soil prairies, clay prairies, thickets, woodland borders, limestone glades, and areas along railroads, particularly where remnant prairies occur. Yellow Coneflower tends to colonize the more disturbed areas of these habitats
It tends to grow rather tall and flop in gardens unless cut back a couple of times in early summer. I have not yet had to perform this duty as the rabbits and their young do an admirable job of munching the tender new growth to various heights. Then seem to move on in time for the flowers to form and flower. Later in the season if a storm makes ratty looking just clip most away leaving a few that look good still for late flowers and seeds. It will return.
I have a spot where the yellow cone flowers have been mixed in amid the tall straight grass and tall large flowered sunflowers. In another place they are mixed with liatris and asters.
The bloom period is very long allowing a mix with several other plants over the summer and early fall. The flowers sway on long delicate stems in each passing breeze. An interesting sight even before the flowers open full as the native bees will hang on sipping oozing nectar already drawing pollinators. The bees are so tame while so engaged that I have often picked the bees up and held them. The little yellow faced native bees are most often found in this state.
Other bees, include Epeoline Cuckoo bees, large Leaf-Cutting bees, Green Metallic bees, and other Halictine bees.
Other insect visitors include wasps, flies, small butterflies, and beetles.
The bees also collect pollen and some beetles feed on pollen. The caterpillars of the butterfly Chlosyne nycteis (Silvery Checkerspot) feeds on the foliage, as well as the caterpillars of the moths Eynchlora acida (Wavy-Lined Emerald) and Eupithecia miserulata (Common Eupithecia).
Gold Finches occasionally eat the seeds, rabbits, groundhogs and livestock will eat foliage and flowering stems.