Golden Tickseed (Tinctoria)

The Golden Tickseed (Tinctoria) is generally described as a perennial forb/herb. This is native to the U.S. (United States) has its most active growth period in the spring and summer . The Golden Tickseed (Tinctoria) has green foliage and inconspicuous yellow flowers, with an abuncance of conspicuous brown fruits or seeds. The greatest bloom is usually observed in the late spring, with fruit and seed production starting in the summer and continuing until summer. Leaves are not retained year to year. The Golden Tickseed (Tinctoria) has a short life span relative to most other plant species and a rapid growth rate. At maturity, the typical Golden Tickseed (Tinctoria) will reach up to 3 feet high, with a maximum height at 20 years of 0 inches.

The Golden Tickseed (Tinctoria) is easily found in nurseries, garden stores and other plant dealers and distributors. It can be propagated by seed. It has a moderate ability to spread through seed production and the seedlings have high vigor. Note that cold stratification is not required for seed germination and the plant cannot survive exposure to temperatures below 52°F. has low tolerance to drought and restricted water conditions.

Uses of : Landscaping, Medicinal, Culinary, etc.

This plant is used mainly for landscape beautification. It has potential for use in cultivated, garden situations, in naturalized prairie or meadow plantings, and along roadsides.

General Characteristics

Sunflower Family (Asteraceae). Calliopsis is an annual forb which usually germinates in late summer or fall and over-winters as a rosette (round, low growing group of leaves). This is a U.S. native. The stems begin growing upward and branching in spring, reaching a height of up to 4 feet. The opposite leaves are deeply divided, with the upper leaf segments being very narrow. The flowering heads are numerous, 1-2 inches in diameter, and are yellow with a red-brown center.

Required Growing Conditions

Calliopsis is adapted to many soil types. It grows best on a well-drained soil, but will not tolerate a very dry site. Natural stands are generally found on bottomland areas with ample moisture. It grows best in full sun, but will tolerate light shade.

Calliopsis is distributed throughout the majority of the United States.

Cultivation and Care

A firm seedbed is required. Calliopsis germinates best on a clean tilled site that has been firmed with a roller or finishing harrow before planting. Seed can also be planted into a closely mowed, chemically-killed, or burned sod area with a light disking or harrowing that scratches the soil surface. A layer of plant residue on the soil surface can interfere with seed germination. Broadcast or shallowly drill 1-2 grams per 100 square feet (1-2 lb/acre). Seed should be placed close to the soil surface. Cultipacking after planting will ensure good seed to soil contact. Seed will germinate soon after planting and remain as a rosette throughout the winter.

General Upkeep and Control

Plant growth and seed production are greatly improved by fertilization. Apply fertilizer according to soil test recommendations. If not available, a rate of 3.5-5.5 oz per 100 square feet (100-150 lb/acre) of 13-13-13 should be applied in the spring before flowering. Stands will reseed prolifically for several years, but will gradually decline without soil disturbance. Every two to three years, the site should be disked to control perennial weeds and promote calliopsis germination. If necessary, plants can be mowed in the spring before stem elongation begins. Stands that are not disked should be mowed in late summer, and a late fall mowing is also recommended.

Environmental Concerns Several sources consider this species to have invasive qualities. Please consult the Plant Profile for this species.

Plant Basics
Growth Rate Rapid
General Type Forb/herb
Growth Period Spring, Summer
Growth Duration Annual, Biennial, Perennial
Lifespan Short
Plant Nativity Native to U.S.
Commercial Availability Routinely Available
Physical Characteristics
Bloom Period Late Spring
Displays Fall Colors No
Shape/Growth Form Single Crown
Drought Tolerance Low
Shade Tolerance Intermediate
Height When Mature 3
Vegetative Spread None
Flower Color Yellow
Flower Conspicuousness Yes
Fruit/Seed Abundance High
Fruit/Seed Seasonality Summer Summer
Seed Spread Rate Moderate
Gardening Characteristics
Propagations (Ways to Grow) Seed
Moisture Requirements High
Cold Stratification Required No
Minimum Temperature 52
Soil Depth for Roots 8
Toxic to Nearby Plants No
Toxic to Livestock No
After-Harvest Regrowth Rate Slow
After-Harvest Resprout Ability No
Responds to Coppicing No
Growth Requirements
pH Range 5.2–7.8 pH
Precipitation Range 20–20 inches/yr
Planting Density 0–0 indiv./acre
Soil Textures Fine, Medium
Soil Depth for Roots 8
Minimum Frost-Free Days 90 day(s)
Salinity Tolerance None
CaCO3 Tolerance Medium
Sustainability & Use
Leaf Retention No
Fire Resistant No
Causes Livestock Bloating None

Source: USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database,
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA