Content Detail

A native prairie wildflower with showy yellow flower heads, prairie coreopsis starts blooming in May ahead of many of the others. It is easy to cultivate, but this plant may sprawl unless it is in full sun with difficult conditions.

  • Family (English) Composite
  • Family (botanic) Compositae
  • Tree or plant type Perennial
  • Native locale Chicago area
  • Size range Large plant (more than 24 inches)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
  • Soil preference Dry soil
  • Tolerances Dry sites, Occasional drought
  • Season of interest late spring, early summer
  • Flower color and fragrance Yellow
  • Shape or form Upright
  • Growth rate Fast, Moderate


Prairie coreopsis is 1 ½ to 3 feet tall and wide, eventually forming a larger clump over time.

Native geographic location and habitat:

C-value: 6. Native to the central United States.

Attracts birds or pollinators:

A wide range of pollinators, including butterflies, is attracted to this plant.

Leaf description:

Leaf arrangement is towards the base of the plant. The medium green leaves are usually lobed in three parts, with the middle section being the longest. Tufts of hair are visible at the base of each leaf.

Flower description:

Yellow, daisy-like flowers are 1½ to 2 inches wide and sit at the end of a long stem. The tips of the petals are ragged, similar to the large-flowered coreopsis.

Fruit description:

Flat oblong fruit (achene) with two scales at the tip.

Plant care:

Plant in full sun in well-drained soil. May need staking in moist, fertile soils. Deadhead flower stems to prolong bloom time and divide clumps in the spring or fall.

List of pests, diseases, tolerances and resistance:

Leaf spots, rust, powdery mildew, and aphids can all be problems in moist areas, but none are particularly troublesome when planted in dry conditions. Can spread aggressively. Deer and rabbit resistant. Tolerant of dry soils.


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