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Coreopsis leavenworthii Leavenworth's Tickseed

Edward F. Gilman, Jeffrey G. Norcini, Teresa Howe, Ryan W. Klein, and Gail Hansen


Thirteen coreopsis species occur in Florida, eleven of which are widely considered native to Florida. Coreopsis tinctoria is native to the U.S but is considered non-native in Florida. Coreopsis basalis is considered native by some and non-native by others. The genus coreopsis is Florida's state wildflower.

Coreopsis leavenworthii is found throughout Florida, and until recently was considered endemic. It is an annual to short-lived perennial. These colorful plants have pinnately to bipinnately compound leaves. In cultivation, this species has more foliage than what would normally be seen in the wild.

Flowers are bright yellow with a dark brown center. A very narrow orange "ring" around the brown disc flowers might even be noticed. These lovely flowers are held upright upon tall, leafless stems that enable the blooms to be beautifully incorporated into flower arrangements, although there is no information on how C. leaveworthii performs as a cut. The flowers are borne in capitula with small discs, and the ray florets have dentate tips. Flowers are 1 to 1½ inches in diameter; flowering is from late spring in north Florida to any time in south Florida.

Full Form - Coreopsis leavenworthii: Leavenworth's Tickseed
Figure 1. Full Form - Coreopsis leavenworthii: Leavenworth's Tickseed
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS


Flower - Coreopsis leavenworthii: Leavenworth's Tickseed
Figure 2. Flower - Coreopsis leavenworthii: Leavenworth's Tickseed
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS

General Information

Scientific name: Coreopsis leavenworthii

Pronunciation: kor-ree-OP-sis lev-en-WERTH-ee-eye

Common name(s): Leavenworth's tickseed

Family: Asteraceae

Plant type: herbaceous; annual to short-lived perennial

USDA hardiness zones: 8B through 11 (Figure 3)

Planting months for seed all zones: Sept through Jan

Planting months for transplants zones 8B and 9: mid Mar to May

Planting months for transplants zones 10 and 11: mid Feb to May

Origin: native to Florida

Invasive potential: may self-seed each year

Uses: edging; mass planting; attracts butterflies

Availability: somewhat available, may have to go out of your local area to find the plant

Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Figure 3. Shaded area represents potential planting range.


Height: 1 to 3 feet

Spread: 1 to 3 feet

Plant habit: upright

Plant density: open

Growth rate: moderate

Texture: fine


Leaf arrangement: opposite/subopposite

Leaf type: pinnately to bipinnately compound

Leaf margin: entire

Leaf shape: linear to oblong

Leaf venation: not applicable

Leaf type and persistence: deciduous

Leaf blade length: 6 to 8 inches

Leaf color: green

Fall color: not applicable

Fall characteristic: not applicable


Flower color: yellow, with dark brown center

Flower characteristic: spring, summer, fall, winter; depending on region of Florida


Fruit type: achene

Fruit shape: oval

Fruit length: 1/8 inch

Fruit cover: not applicable

Fruit color: brown

Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches

Current year stem/twig color: green

Current year stem/twig thickness: thin


Light requirement: full sun to high pine shade

Soil tolerances: acidic; slightly alkaline; sand; loam; clay; occasionally wet

Drought tolerance: low

Soil salt tolerance: unknown, but probably low

Plant spacing: 6 to 12 inches


Roots: not applicable

Winter interest: may flower during winter months in south Florida

Outstanding plant: not particularly outstanding

Pest resistance: no serious pests are normally seen on the plant

Use and Management

Coreopsis species are generally short-lived and may only last 3 to 4 seasons. Try using these plants as a border or edge. They are also excellent for naturalizing and will reseed themselves. The stalks become long and weak and tend to break in windy or rainy weather.

Coreopsis leavenworthii require a sunny position in the landscape. They prefer well-drained soils that are not too rich; rich soils and overwatering cause these plants to topple over. Keep the soil relatively moist and remove dead flowers immediately to prolong blooming. Place these plants 6 to 12 inches apart in the garden.

Seed is the most common method of propagation for coreopsis. Division can also be accomplished in the spring or fall.

Pests and Diseases

None observed.

Publication #FPS142

Release Date:October 9, 2023

Related Collections

Part of Shrubs Fact Sheets

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Organism ID

About this Publication

This document is FPS142, one of a series of the Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Revised November 2003 and October 2023. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

Edward F. Gilman, professor emeritus, Department of Environmental Horticulture; Jeffrey G. Norcini, former associate professor, native wildflower and grass specialist, Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS North Florida REC; Teresa Howe, former coordinator, research programs and services, UF/IFAS Gulf Coast REC; Ryan W. Klein, assistant professor, arboriculture, and Gail Hansen, professor, sustainable landscape design, Department of Environmental Horticulture; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


  • Gail Hansen de Chapman