Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Coreopsis tinctoria

Plains coreopsis, Golden tickseed, Goldenwave, Coreopsis, Calliopsis

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Coreopsis tinctoria (Plains coreopsis)
Marcus, Joseph A.
A slender, 1-2 ft. annual with pinnately-compound foliage, tickseed is known for its small but abundant yellow flowers, painted maroon near the center. Numerous smooth, slightly angled branches bearing showy, daisy-like flower heads with yellow rays surrounding a reddish-purple central disk. The yellow petals are notch-tipped. Flower heads occur on long stalks from the multi-branching stems.

This prevailingly western annual has escaped from cultivation in the East. It is widespread in the West and the South in disturbed areas, such as moist ditches. Because of its showiness, the flower is cultivated extensively, hence its common name.

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38 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: 1-2
Leaf: Green
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow , Brown
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun


USA: AL , AZ , AR , CA , CO , CT , DE , FL , GA , HI , ID , IL , IN , IA , KS , KY , LA , ME , MD , MA , MI , MN , MS , MO , MT , NE , NJ , NM , NY , NC , ND , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VT , VA , WA , WV , WI , WY , DC
Canada: AB , BC , MB , ON , QC , SK
Native Distribution: Plains of c. U.S.; naturalized elsewhere
Native Habitat: Prairie, Plains, Meadows, Pastures, Savannahs, Roadsides, pond banks

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Prefers moist, sandy soil.
Conditions Comments: Coreopsis tinctoria produces showy masses of red-highlighted yellow flowers. It does well in wildflower meadows and predominates in wet years. Though considered an annual, it may bloom two to three years before dying.


Use Ornamental: This species is widely cultivated as an ornamental and is escaping. It is sometimes known in the horticultural trade as calliopsis.
Use Wildlife: Nectar-Bees Nectar-Butterflies, Nectar-insects, Seeds-Granivorous birds
Use Food: Flowers boiled in water makes a red liquid used as a beverage.
Use Medicinal: Amerindians used root tea for diarrhea and as an emetic. Dried tops in a tea to strengthen blood. Boiled plant to make a drink for internal pains and bleeding.
Use Other: Was used for a source of yellow and red dyes.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: High

Last Update: 2015-06-25