Coreopsis or "Tickseed"

A small pathway in a field of yellow flowers
A close-up of a coreopsis flower

Coreopsis, commonly known as tickseed, is the official state of Florida Wildflower. This delicate, native flower blooms in abundance in mid-May, at the Big Flats Marsh in Myakka River State Park. As the dry season gives way to legendary Floridian storms, Coreopsis seemingly burst from the ground, covering the rolling field with bright yellow joy. 

The colloquial name "tickseed" comes from the appearance of the center of the flower, where its seeds grow. It bears an uncanny resemblance to tick eggs. However, ticks do not lay their eggs here; it is just the seeds for next year's flowers!

Myakka River State Park has two types of Coreopsis. Coreopsis leavenworthii has a slightly larger flower, and it grows sporadically throughout the year, usually near seasonal ponds or on marshes along the river. Coreopsis floridana has a slightly smaller flower, and this species comprises the phenomenal late-spring bloom in Big Flats Marsh. (Coreopsis floridana is pictured above.) 

The large bloom usually lasts for about 2-3 weeks. Once pollinated, these flowers will go to seed. The seeds remain dormant for the rest of the year. Temperature and water levels through the year affect how many seeds will successfully bloom. 

The Coreopsis bloom is a beautiful sight to see. Visitors are encouraged to bring cameras! Please do not bring any large/structural equipment. Please do not pick any flowers. These helps us protect the blooms for years and generations to come. 

Have you seen the Coreopsis and want to share? Join the fun with #coreopsis and #FLStateParks

I will be the gladdest thing under the sun! I will touch a hundred flowers and not pick one.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
A field of coreopsis flowers