I always think it’s interesting that the beautiful genus of Coreopsis is commonly referred to as tickseed. Frankly, it unnerves me although I know it is only because the seeds are so small thus resembling seed ticks. Coreopsis tinctoria is an annual and grows in ditches throughout Oklahoma and much of the U.S. especially the south. It also grows as a volunteer in my garden, and I like the sunny discs with their red centers. I also enjoy their delicate foliage. This little plant is a pretty addition to the front of the border or in a meadow setting. Coreopsis tinctoria goes by many common names like calliopsis, golden coreopsis, annual coreopsis, and plains coreopsis. It is part of the Asteraceae/Compositae (aster or daisy family), and, according to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Native Plant Database has “. . . 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.”
I couldn’t have said it better.
Coreopsis tinctoria is very easy to grow from seed and is often found in Oklahoma/Texas wildflower mixes. If you like the red/maroon centers best, Annie’s Annuals sells a variety called Coreopsis tinctoria ‘Mahogany’ “Calliopsis”. If deadheaded, Coreopsis tinctoria will often bloom from June through September in our part of the country. However, if you want it to spread, let some seed form before autumn.
Like most prairie wildflowers, it is extremely drought tolerant and doesn’t require any fertilization. Plant seeds in well-drained sandy soil for best results.
Many thanks to Gail at Clay and Limestone for making Wildflower Wednesday possible. It’s a great meme.