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Plant Profile: Pink Tickseed (Coreopsis rosea)

Pink tickseed is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial and a member of the aster family, Asteraceae, that also includes daisy, sunflower, and lettuce.  It is native to the East Coast of the US where it grows in moist sandy habitats such as along the shores of lakes, rivers, and ponds.  Growing 1-2′ tall, the plant is branched and has  1-2″ long light green threadlike leaves that are linear above and bipinnate or tripinnate with linear segments below.  The 1″ wide flower heads appear singly on short stalks in mid to late summer and consist of pink untoothed ray flowers surrounding yellow disc flowers. Unlike most tickseeds, pink tickseed is not tolerant of heat, humidity, or drought, and does best in consistently moist soil in cool climates.  Deadheading or shearing is necessary to encourage rebloom and to maintain a neat appearance.  Pink tickseed can be agressive but is useful in cottage gardens, wildlife, gardens, and rock gardens.  The genus name, Coreopsis, comes from the Greek words koris meaning bug and opsis meaning like/similar to and refers to the appearance of the seed.  The specific epithet, rosea, is the Latin word for rosy and refers to the color of the flowers.

Type: Herbaceous perennial

Bloom: Single flower heads on short stalks consisting of pink ray flowers around yellow disc flowers; in mid to late summer

Size: 1-2′ H x 2-3′ W

Light: Full sun

Soil:Average, consistently moist, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 3-8

Care: Deadhead or shear to encourage bloom and maintain appearance

Pests and Diseases: None of significance but susceptible to root rot in poorly drained soil.

Propagation: Seed, basal cuttings in spring, division

Companion Plants:Whorled milkweed (Asclepias verticillata), spotted beebalm (Monarda punctata), blue mistflower (Conoclinium coelestinum)