PNW Landscape Plant Guide

brought to you by the plant geeks at Calendula Farm

Tickseed (Coreopsis spp.)

The common name of Coreopsis is somewhat misleading and doesn’t connote anything particularly charming, but this plant is a charming workhorse of a colorful summer garden. There are hundreds of species of Coreopsis around the world and many come from North America, especially around the Great Plains states. Their flowers can fall anywhere in the range of sunny yellow & orange to maroon & pink.

One of our favorites is Coreopsis tinctoria, or Dyer’s Coreopsis. The flowers are largely a rich velvety looking maroon with accents of deep yellow. The blooms are used to create brilliant orange to yellow dye by simple soaking and boiling. The color can be tweaked more toward red-orange or yellow by changing the acidity of the water with lemon juice or baking soda. Try coloring Easter eggs with the flowers from your own garden! It works with fresh or dried flowers.

Coreopsis will bloom all summer and into autumn, constantly sending up new buds. After many weeks, a lot of spent blooms pile up on the plant and it can easily be refreshed with a light haircut, which prompts even more blooms. Most species will get 12-18 inches tall and form a tidy mound of many stems covered in slender leaves.

We grow four varieties: Coreopsis grandiflora ‘Early Sunrise’, C. tinctoria, C. lanceolata, C. x verticillata ‘Red Elf’. In flower now, waiting to greet you & make you smile. Tuesday-Sunday 10-5.