8 Varieties of Coreopsis for Your Flower Garden

schnuddel / Getty Images

Coreopsis, often called tickseed, is a genus containing up to 80 species of flowering perennials native to North, Central, and South America. The flowers are usually yellow and daisy-like (like daisies, these plants are part of the Aster family). There are four species of particular interest to gardeners: C. grandiflora (large-flowered tickseed), C. lanceolata (lance-leafed tickseed), C. verticillata (threadleaf coreopsis), and C. rosea (pink coreopsis).

Coreopsis plants are extremely adaptable and easy growing perennial flowers. There is actually a good range of Coreopsis varieties, and their numbers increase every year through the development of additional cultivars. There are tall, fluffy forms, red and pink varieties, even annual types.

Here are eight varieties of Coreopsis to grow in your garden.

Gardening Tip

All species of Coreopsis have a tendency toward becoming sparse in late summer. They are often rejuvenated by aggressively cutting them back after the main flowering period has concluded.

  • 01 of 08

    Large-Flowered Tickseed (Coreopsis grandiflora)

    Lanceleaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis grandiflora)
    Arco Images / Huetter Christian / Getty Images

    In addition to the many cultivars, the pure species of Coreopsis grandiflora with its bright yellow flowers has been gracing gardens for generations. It makes an excellent perennial plant for novice gardeners, but experienced gardeners will also appreciate its reliability, ease of growth, and the way the color blends so well with just about anything.

    Coreopsis grandiflora can grow in just about any soil, even shallow, lean or chalky soil. It is open pollinated, so it can be grown either from seed or by division. It will also self-seed, but not to the point of annoyance. If you don't want the volunteers, simply deadhead the plants before they go to seed. These plants will benefit from shearing them back after the initial bloom fades.

    • Native Area: Central and eastern North America
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4–9
    • Height: 18–24 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 02 of 08

    'Heliot' (Coreopsis grandiflora ‘Heliot’)

    Coreopsis Grandiflora 'Heliot'

    Coreopsis grandiflora are exuberant plants and will happily spread out in a garden. One cultivar, 'Heliot', a Fleuroselect Gold Medal winner, was bred to stay tight and compact—perfect for a smaller garden or containers. The flowers are single with a burgundy ring around the center disk. They are not as full as the double Coreopsis grandiflora, but they bloom from early summer right through to frost, even in the first year of planting.

    This cultivar also benefits from shearing after the initial blooms fade. Divide the clumps every three years to maintain the plant.

    • Native Area: Central and eastern North America
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4–9
    • Height: 10–14 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 03 of 08

    'Rising Sun' (Coreopsis grandiflora ‘Rising Sun’)

    Coreopsis grandiflora 'Rising Sun'

    Coreopsis grandiflora 'Rising Sun' is another Fleuroselect Gold Medal winner. 'Rising Sun' is unique in a couple of ways. First, it begins blooming weeks earlier than other varieties of Coreopsis. Then there's the flower itself. 'Rising Sun' has semi-double fringed golden flowers with a red dot at the base of each petal. The 2-inch flowers are relatively large for a Coreopsis. The growth habit and ease of maintenance are still everything you'd expect.

    • Native Area: Central and eastern North America
    • USDA Growing Zones Zones: 3–9
    • Height: 18–24 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 04 of 08

    Lanceleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata)

    Coreopsis, Tickseed (Coreopsis lanceolata) - XII
    AlpamayoPhoto / Getty Images

    While all Coreopsis plants are carefree, the lanceleaf coreopsis, another North American native, is virtually foolproof. All it asks for is lots of sunshine and well-draining soil, and it will bloom its heart out all season long with deep yellow flowers.

    Lanceleaf coreopsis has a more open, airy form than Coreopsis grandiflora, although not as airy as the threadleafs. Lanceleaf coreopsis has a bit of a wildflower look that blends well in cottage-style gardens. The flowers follow the sun, so position it where you'll enjoy the view when you're around.

    • Native Area: North America
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4–9
    • Height: 12–18 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    'Moonbeam' Threadleaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata 'Moonbeam')

    Moonbeam Coreopsis
    Gail Shotlander / Getty Images

    When Coreopsis verticillata 'Moonbeam' came on the market, nurseries couldn't keep it in stock. The buttery yellow flowers were too irresistible for any gardener to walk past and not lust after. And then there was that foliage—thread-like wisps of green that softened the look of the garden, almost to a blur. 'Moonbeam' is indeed a stunning plant. It blooms from mid summer all the way into fall.

    Although 'Moonbeam' shares its species' ease of growth, it does tend to be less long-lived than most, often disappearing from a garden within three years. Then again, it has been known to travel a bit and pop up in another part of the garden where, no doubt, it will be just as welcome. It's impossible to say how it will perform in your particular garden, but it's worth the try. 'Moonbeam' blends into any garden design.

    • Native Area: East-central U.S.
    • USDA Growing Zones: 3–9
    • Height: 18–24 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 06 of 08

    'Golden Showers' (Coreopsis verticillata 'Golden Showers')

    Coreopsis verticillata 'Golden Showers'
    Marie Iannotti

    The threadleaf coreopsis (C. verticillata) is increasingly popular, leading to the development of several good cultivars.The feathery texture of the leaves and the profusion of bloom are certainly worthy features. However, some of the threadleafs can become wispy and floppy as they age and some are very short-lived. Coreopsis verticillata 'Golden Showers' can hold its flower stems tall and sturdy throughout the season. It tends to form a nice size clump, rather than traveling around your garden. And it stays around for several years. The golden yellow flowers bloom from mid-summer into fall.

    Like most Coreopsis varieties, 'Golden Showers' is very tolerant of hot, dry weather. Shearing the plants back by about two-thirds once the initial blooming is finished will refresh the plant and set new buds.

    • Native Area: East-central U.S.
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4–9
    • Height: 24–30 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 07 of 08

    Pink Coreopsis (Coreopsis rosea)

    Coreopsis rosea
    Pink coreopsis

    Prairie Nursery

    C. Rosea is another species of threadleaf coreopsis, the only one with pink flowers. It has the same airy texture of C. vertilcillata, but is less tolerant of heat and drought. The daisy-like flowers bloom through summer, appearing on short stalks. This plant is best for regions with cool summers.

    • Native Area: Northeastern U.S. and eastern Canada
    • USDA Growing Zones: 8–8
    • Height: 1–2 feet
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 08 of 08

    'Limerock Ruby' (Coreopsis x 'Limerock Ruby')

    Coreopsis 'Limerock Ruby'
    Marie Iannotti

    Coreopsis 'Limerock Ruby' came onto the scene when the threadleaf Coreopsis was peaking in popularity. It is an accidental hybrid created from a random cross-pollination of unidentified selections of C. rosea and C. verticillata, producing a plant that resembles a threadleaf coreopsis, but with deep red flowers with orange centers. Initially marketed as a plant hardy to zone 5, it has been redefined as a zone 8 perennial, but it can be grown as an annual in colder zones.

    There have since been more introductions in the Limerock series, such as the pink Coreopsis 'Limerock Passion' and the tangerine 'Limerock Dream,' that keep the interest in Coreopsis plants going strong.

    • Native Area: Nursery hybrid; parent species are native to northeastern North America and east-central U.S.
    • USDA Growing Zones: 8–11
    • Height: 18–24 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun