If you have driven to Oklahoma City on Interstate 40 recently you probably noticed patches of bright yellow flowers, especially between the Dale and McLoud exits. These are coreopsis, a native Oklahoma wildflower. The choice of green and gold as Oklahoma Baptist University’s school colors was influenced by the green and gold coreopsis growing around the campus.

The common name is Tickseed. The shape of the seed, which resembles a bug, influenced the name. Due to the efforts of the Federated Garden Clubs, Florida adopted coreopsis as its state wildflower in 1991.


If you have driven to Oklahoma City on Interstate 40 recently you probably noticed patches of bright yellow flowers, especially between the Dale and McLoud exits. These are coreopsis, a native Oklahoma wildflower. The choice of green and gold as Oklahoma Baptist University’s school colors was influenced by the green and gold coreopsis growing around the campus.
The common name is Tickseed. The shape of the seed, which resembles a bug, influenced the name. Due to the efforts of the Federated Garden Clubs, Florida adopted coreopsis as its state wildflower in 1991.
Horticulturists have hybridized the plant to create a number of perennial cultivars that thrive locally. Probably, grandiflora is the most frequently seen species. It blooms on single stems and will reach around two feet high. Blooms begin in May and will continue throughout the summer if the spent blooms and stems are removed. Since there are so many, this is a big chore that you may not wish to do individually, resorting to grass cutters from time to time. The uncut blooms produce seed so that new plants appear in the bed, especially in early spring.
“Moonbeam” is a low-growing, low-maintenance cultivar that I have used in several locations. Its foliage reminds one of asparagus fern. Small yellow blooms are scattered over the plant. It appears in the spring and blooms until frost when it dies back and is dormant for the winter. Very little water is required after it is established..
“Zagreb” has lacy leaves that look similar to marigold foliage. It grows to a height of one-to-two feet and is covered with yellow flowers. Steve Owens recommends it in his book, Oklahoma Gardener’s Guide. OBU has planted it in raised beds along the walkway northeast of the Geiger Center. It should be blooming in a few weeks.
For a bright splash of color in your yard, one of these varieties of coreopsis might be a good choice.