Coreopsis tinctoria

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: plains coreopsis 
Type: Annual
Family: Asteraceae
Native Range: Central and eastern United States
Zone: 2 to 11
Height: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: June to September
Bloom Description: Yellow rays with reddish-brown center disk
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Attracts: Birds, Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Clay Soil, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil


Easily grown in dry to medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates light shade. Performs well in poor sandy or rocky soils. Tolerant of heat, humidity and some drought. Seeds may be sown indoors 6-8 weeks before last spring frost date. Set plants out after last frost date. Seed may also be planted outdoors after last frost date. Prompt deadheading of spent flowers may encourage additional bloom and prevents any unwanted self-seeding. Freely self seeds in optimum conditions.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Coreopsis tinctoria, commonly called plains coreopsis, garden coreopsis, golden tickseed or calliopsis, is an annual coreopsis that is native to the western U.S. (west of the Mississippi River). It is commonly cultivated in gardens as an annual, and has over time escaped from gardens and naturalized thoughout most of the eastern U. S. to the Atlantic Ocean. In Missouri, it is typically found in rocky glades, sandy ground and along roadsides and along railroad tracks (Steyermark). It grows 2-4’ tall and to 18” wide on smooth, stiff, branching stems. One-two pinnate finely cut green leaves with linear-lanceolate leaflets (to 3” long) appear mostly on the lower half of the plant. Solitary, daisy-like flowers (to 1-2” diameter) feature yellow rays (7-9 per head) with reddish brown center disks. Each ray is toothed at the tip and spotted reddish-brown at the base. Flowers typically bloom over a long late spring to fall period. The blooms are attractive to butterflies and the seeds are attractive to birds. This species is synonymous with and formerly know as Calliopsis bicolor.

The genus name comes from the Greek words koris meaning "bug" and opsis meaning "like" in reference to the shape of the seed which resembles a bug or tick.

Specific epithet means used in dyeing.

Plants in the genus Coreopsis are sometimes commonly called tickseed in reference to the resemblance of the seeds to ticks.


No serious insect or disease problems. Taller plants may need some support, particularly if exposed to high winds.


Borders. Naturalize in native wildflower gardens, meadows or prairies. Effective along roads. Good plant for areas with poor, dry soils. Excellent in large plantings.