prairie coreopsis

(Coreopsis palmata)

Conservation Status
prairie coreopsis
  IUCN Red List

not listed


N5? - Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed


Prairie coreopsis is a 12 to 48 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on usually one or more stems from a long, creeping rhizome. It sometimes forms dense colonies.

The stems are erect, unbranched, and mostly hairless or sparsely hairy at the base of the leaves. They are green with light green vertical stripes.

The leaves are opposite, broadly inversely egg-shaped in outline, 1 to 3 long, and stalkless or almost stalkless. They are distributed in 6 to 12 pairs along or more of the stem. They are usually hairless but sometimes have a few hairs on the margin near the base. The leaf blades are usually divided into 3 lobes well above the base and have the shape of a turkey foot. The lobes are sometimes lobed again, resulting in 3 to 7 (rarely to 9) ultimate lobes. The lobes are narrowly oblong, to 1½ long, and 1 16 to usually , sometimes ¼, wide. Upper leaves are sometimes unlobed.

The inflorescence is one to a few flower heads at the end of the stem and from upper leaf axils.

The flower heads are 1½ to 2½ wide on stalks to 2 long. The involucre is bell-shaped and is composed of 2 series of bracts, 8 inner bracts and 9 to 12 or more outer bractlets. The inner bracts are yellow-brown, oblong to nearly circular, ¼ to long, to 3 16 wide, and bent backward above the middle. The outer bracts are green, linear, ascending, and about ¼ long and .

There are 8 to 10 ray florets and 60 to 80 disk florets. The ray florets are yellow, to 1 long, and about wide. They are more or less rounded at the tip and may have 2 or 3 (sometimes 4) tiny teeth at the tip. The disk is to ½ wide. The disk floret is a yellow, 5-lobed corolla tube with a branched style. There is no floral scent.

The fruit is a dry seed capsule (achene) that does not have a tuft of hair (pappus) attached.




12 to 48


Flower Color




Similar Species


Plains coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria var. tinctoria) is much branched above the middle. The leaves are pinnate, bipinnate, or 3 times pinnately compound. The inner bracts on the involucre are reddish. The ray flowers have a red-brown blotch at the center and are divided at the tip into 3 lobes. The disk flowers have a dark tip causing the disk to appear dark.


Dry to moderate moisture. Prairies, meadows. Full sun.




June to August


Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28, 29, 30.









  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Asteranae  


Asterales (sunflowers, bellflowers, fanflowers, and allies)  


Asteraceae (sunflowers, daisies, asters, and allies)  
  Subfamily Asteroideae  
  Supertribe Helianthodae  
  Tribe Coreopsideae (coreopsis and allies)  
  Genus Coreopsis (tickseed)  
  Section Gyrophyllum  

Subordinate Taxa








Common Names


finger tickseed

prairie coreopsis

prairie tickseed

stiff tickseed

wedgeleaf coreopsis












A dry, one-chambered, single-seeded seed capsule, formed from a single carpel, with the seed attached to the membranous outer layer (wall) only by the seed stalk; the wall, formed entirely from the wall of the superior ovary, does not split open at maturity, but relies on decay or predation to release the contents.



The upper angle where the leaf stalk meets the stem.



Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk, flower cluster, or inflorescence.



A collective name for all of the petals of a flower.



A whorl of bracts beneath or surrounding a flower or flower cluster.



The modified calyx composed of awns, scales, bristles, or feather-like hairs in plants of the Aster family such as thistles and dandelions.



A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

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Flower Head

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Early Spring

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Late Summer

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Coreopsis palmata PRAIRIE COREOPSIS
Frank Mayfield
  Coreopsis palmata PRAIRIE COREOPSIS  



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