Coreopsis gigantea

Family: Asteraceae

Common name: TICKSEED

Native to: Southwest California

Sentiment: always cheerful


Type: perennial

Forms: clumping, erect, rosette

Max height: 3.3 feet

Max width: 3.3 feet


brown/black, yellow




Attracts wildlife: adult butterfly, bird, specific butterfly species

Plant part consumed by birds: seeds

Plant features: self-sows

Exposure: part shade, sun

Landscape uses: container, cut flower

Propagates by: seed

flowers in spring

Soil type: loam

USDA Zones: zone 8 to +10 f, zone 9 to +20 f, zone 10 to +30 f

Temp. range: +10 to +40 °F

Water: dry, moderate

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Coreopsis gigantea
There are 103 species of Coreopsis, a member of the Aster family (Compositae). It is also called TICKSEED. Seven of these plants are cultivated and are an interesting and diverse group of plants. Cultivated Coreopsis perennials include auriculata, gigantea, grandiflora, lanceolata, rosea, tinctoria, and verticillata. TICKSEED grows from seed in Zones 4-10 and flower in spring or summer. Several of them tolerate dry conditions. They range in height from two to five feet and attract birds as well.

The unusual appearance of Coreopsis gigantea is due to its stout primary stem. It grows to 3 ½ feet high and wide and can self-sow to create a naturalized patch. The height includes the inflorescence - the plant itself is about a foot shorter. Grow it in sun or part shade in Zones 8-10. Give it moderate or dry watering. This Coreopsis can be grown in a container. It is a handsome plant that provides a diverse focal point in the garden and will feed adult butterflies.

In addition to the butterflies that come to plants in the Compositae family to feed, Coreopsis is particularly appealing to these adult butterfly species:
Atalopedes campestris, SACHEM
Danaus plexippus, MONARCH
Junonia coenia, COMMON BUCKEYE
Zerene cesonia, SOUTHERN DOGFACE

Danaus plexippus
Junonia coenia
Container plants that attract adult butterflies - perennial

This plant is one of 186 perennials suitable to grow in a container that will attract adult butterflies. 38 of these plants attract birds and 67 attract specific butterfly species. They can be found in every height range – from tiny to large – from less than a foot high to over 10 feet tall. 19 of these plants are drought tolerant, more than 80 are available for dry or moderate watering conditions. 29 are deciduous, while 71 are evergreen. Some can grow in Zone 2, while the others grow in Zones 3-11. 178 perennial plants that attract butterflies and can be grown in containers in Zone 9. 77 can be used as cut flowers. They come in any one of the available flower colors.

We have found that, when given a choice, butterflies and bees frequent named species more often than cultivars. You may want to keep this in mind when you select plants for your garden if your goal is to attract and support these insects.

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