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Marcus, Joseph A.
Coreopsis tinctoria Nutt.
Plains coreopsis, Golden tickseed, Goldenwave, Calliopsis
USDA Symbol: coti3
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.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Annual Habit: Herb Size Notes:
Green Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow , Brown
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun
, WY Canada: AB
, SK Native Distribution:
Plains of c. U.S.; naturalized elsewhere Native Habitat:
Prairie, Plains, Meadows, Pastures, Savannahs, Roadsides, pond banks
Growing ConditionsWater 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.
BenefitUse 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
Clump Division , Seeds Description:
Seeds may be sown outside in late fall or the following spring without any cold treatment. Seedlings grow rapidly. This plant can be increased by separating outer rosettes from the clump in the fall. Seed Collection:
Nutlets are mature and ready for collection about four weeks after the flowers wither. Watch the inner series of bracts; when they begin to darken, it is time to collect. Remove chaff and store in sealed, refrigerated containers. Storage life is at least three years. Seed Treatment:
Seeds of this genus
generally germinate without pretreatment. Several studies have indicated that light increases germination. From this observation, we suggest not covering the soil. Commercially Avail:
Since C. tinctoria is an annual,
be sure to allow the seed to mature completely before mowing or collecting seed to plant in a new area. Again, it is essential it is allowed to reseed for an abundant display the following year.
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Attracting butterflies in Tennessee
July 03, 2009
What flowers and plants do the caterpillars in Tennessee eat? And do you know what butterflies live in Tipton Co. Tennessee?
view the full question and answer
Native plants for seasonal poor drainage
May 16, 2006
I have an area in my front yard that has a drainage ditch running through it. When it rains, that area stays very wet. What kind of plants available for sale will work in this situation?
view the full question and answer
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Suppliers Directory
According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
Ohio Prairie Nursery
- Hiram, OH
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Fredericksburg Nature Center
- Fredericksburg, TXLady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
- Austin, TXTexas Discovery Gardens
- Dallas, TXSibley Nature Center
- Midland, TXBrackenridge Field Laboratory
- Austin, TXNueces River Authority
- Uvalde, TXStengl Biological Research Station
- Smithville, TXTexas Parks and Wildlife Department
- Austin, TXNative Seed Network
- Corvallis, ORJacob's Well Natural Area
- Wimberley, TXNPSOT - Williamson County Chapter
- Georgetown, TX, TX
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 0061
Collected May 19, 1990 in Bexar County by Lottie Millsaps
Record Last Modified: 2009-04-18
Research By: TWC Staff, GDB