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This species occurs in prairies, thickets, and borders of woods. It is often found along roadsides and railroad right-of-ways. Yellow coneflower grows best on loam, clay, and sandy soil types that are from medium moisture to dry. It prefers calcareous soils that are neutral pH 6-7, but will grow in sunny locations with well-drained soils, and is often found in wet mesic, mesic and dry mesic sites.