Tropical Style

Fantastic Design Plant: Coreopsis Tripteris

February 9, 2019

On occasion a garden that’s filled with crops of similar heights, especially those lower than 3 feet, can become drab. Add flair with tall tickseed (Coreopsis tripteris), a long-blooming, heat-loving, butterfly-calling skyscraper.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Botanical name: Coreopsis tripteris
Common name: Tall tickseed, tall coreopsis
Origin: Native in areas from the central and southern Great Plains into the Southeast and central East Coast
USDA zones: 3 to 8 (find your zone)
Water and soil requirement: Sand, loam, clay; arid to moist soil
Light requirement: Full to partial sun
Mature size: 5 to 2 feet tall and 3 to 6 feet wide, or more
Benefits and tolerances: Easy perennial; drought tolerant; attracts native bees and butterflies
Seasonal curiosity: Great four-week blossom period in late summer and early fall; adds winter interest because of height; good bird perch
When to plant: Spring to fall

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Distinguishing attributes. Tall tickseed grows up to 8 feet tall in ideal moist conditions, but in arid soil it easily reaches 4 to 6 feet. Like its smaller cousins, tall tickseed puts out a long series of bright yellow blossoms, and all in late summer when so much has already declined. Here you can also see the exceptional stalks and foliage that are almost tropical looking.

Missouri Botanical Garden

How to utilize it. Tall tickseed’s thin frame means it can slide in nicely among lower and denser plants for extra interest. Place it in the center or the back of a mattress, or allow it determine where it needs to gradually spread by rhizomes. The stems are rather sturdy and will hold up to powerful winds.

Planting notes.
In moist soil tall tickseed can spread somewhat aggressively; it spreads less in warm clay to sand. Nevertheless, it is extremely simple to pull out by hand if it creeps in which you do not want it. Tall tickseed is quite elastic and drought tolerant. Watch for butterflies that hang from its blossoms in late summer.

More flowers to attract birds, bees and butterflies

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