Tickseed Coreopsis

Photo of tickseed coreopsis flowerhead
Scientific Name
Coreopsis lanceolata
Asteraceae (daisies, sunflowers)

A prominent glade perennial usually with several stems. Flowerheads few, with large heads, about 2 inches across, the ray florets typically broad, uniformly yellow, the ends sharply, jaggedly toothed. Blooms April–June. Leaves narrow, undivided, mostly at lower half of the stems. Fruits seeds that somewhat resemble ticks; the name “coreopsis” is derived from Greek and means “resembling a bug.”

Similar species: There are 6 species of Coreopsis recorded for Missouri. We also have 11 species in the genus Bidens (beggar’s ticks), which can be confused with Coreopsis species.


Height: to 2 feet.

Where To Find
image of Tickseed Coreopsis distribution map

Scattered mostly in the Ozarks and north to the Missouri River. Cultivated, and escapes from cultivation, statewide.

Grows natively in rocky prairies, glades, tops of bluffs, sandy open areas, and along roadsides and railroads. It is cultivated statewide and commonly escapes into natural habitats.

Often planted along roads for beautification. Several species are cultivated as garden ornamentals and for cut flowers, and doubled cultivars with numerous ray florets have been developed. In gardens, coreopsis demands excellent drainage and full sun but seems to prefer poor soil.

The achenes (as the seedlike fruits of members of the sunflower family are called) provide food for birds and small mammals.

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About Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Nonwoody Plants in Missouri
A very simple way of thinking about the green world is to divide the vascular plants into two groups: woody and nonwoody (or herbaceous). But this is an artificial division; many plant families include some species that are woody and some that are not. The diversity of nonwoody vascular plants is staggering! Think of all the ferns, grasses, sedges, lilies, peas, sunflowers, nightshades, milkweeds, mustards, mints, and mallows — weeds and wildflowers — and many more!