Coreopsis palmata (Prairie Coreopsis)

Plant Info
Also known as: Stiff Tickseed, Finger Coreopsis
Family:Asteraceae (Aster)
Life cycle:perennial
Habitat:sun; fields, prairies
Bloom season:June - August
Plant height:1 to 3 feet
Wetland Indicator Status:none
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

Pick an image for a larger view. See the glossary for icon descriptions.

Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 7+petals

[photo of flowers] Yellow flower 1½ to 2 inches across with 8 to 12 rays (petals); the center is yellow and turns brown with maturity. There are 2 noticeable impressed veins that run the length of each ray, and there may be a few brownish spots on some. The ray tips are mostly smooth but may have small notches.

[photo of bracts] The bracts are about ¼ inch long and very narrow, with rounded tips. Each plant may have a few flowers, though a single flower is common.

Leaves and stems: Leaf attachment: opposite Leaf type: lobed Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] Leaves are 2 to 4 inches long, stalkless, and deeply divided into 3 lobes. The center lobe the longest and sometimes has 1 or 2 additional small lobes. The center vein in each lobe is usually light green; each runs all the way down to the leaf base where it attaches to the stem. Stems are mostly hairless, except at the leaf nodes.

Fruit: Fruit type: seed without plume

The center disk forms a seed head; seeds are oblong-elliptic, about ¼ inch long, and mostly brown.


The palmately lobed leaves make this species easy to identify.

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More photos

Photos by K. Chayka taken at Long Lake Regional Park, Ramsey County. Other photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Betty - Northfield
on: 2011-07-19 16:36:35

Thank you for this website. I have packages of wild flower seeds that I just throw in my garden for fun. None of the plants I have are pictured on the package. I have a zillion of these yellow flowers and thought they might be coreopsis. And your photo confirmed it.

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2011-07-19 17:35:54

Many seed packets marketed as "wildflower" mixes don't contain anything you'd actually find growing wild in Minnesota. ;) Some of those mixes contain invasive species, too, so buyer beware.

Posted by: Kenny h - Shooting Star Trail West of Rose Creek
on: 2017-06-29 18:34:28

Several plants in one how the leaves look like a crow foot.

Posted by: Anders H Hornfeldt - SHOREVIEW
on: 2018-09-19 17:40:07

Hi, We have a steep slope across the street from our house with lots of plants. This year some pretty yellow flowers have appeared. I think they are Coreopsis. I would love to have many more of these. I know Prairie Moon Nursery sells seeds and plants. Can I sprinkle seeds over existing plants and have any success in having some take root? The seeds are very small and I would think they would find their way to the soil. Any suggestions are welcome.

Posted by: Davis - Garvin Co. Park
on: 2019-07-12 10:24:12

Why are new "native" prairie plantings including Coreopsis lanceolata over palmata? I've seen multiple sites now that do not contain palmata, but rather lanceolata...

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