Not too far from my home, there is a commercially grown field of Coreopsis. I’m not sure exactly what the species is, but what I am sure of is that it is absolutely breathtaking. The color is vivid and bold, and I know that it will continue to bloom for the majority of the summer yet. There are some flowers that must be written about and featured in my blog because of both their beauty and ease of care, and Coreopsis is definitely in that category.
The name Coreopsis comes from the Greek word ‘koris’ which means ‘bug’. Plants in the Coreopsis genus are commonly called Tickseed due to the seeds resembling little ticks. There are some species that are annuals and some that are perennials, and both grow readily from seeds. In general, Coreopsis prefers to live in full sun and tolerates partial shade. The plants are not picky about soils, but a neutral pH and a well-draining soil is best. Instead of producing more blooms, over fertilizing Coreopsis will result with less blooms and floppy plants. Once established, Coreopsis is fairly heat and drought tolerant. The flowers are excellent for cutting and last for most or all of the summer, attracting butterflies and other beneficial insects. Coreopsis is great for flower beds and borders as well as naturalized meadows and prairies, and the plants are usually deer resistant.
Here are some of the most well-known species of Coreopsis:
Coreopsis tinctoria is referred to as Plains Coreopsis. It is an annual that is native to North America, primarily the Great Plains and the Southern United States. It is a marvelous performer giving non-stop color of bright yellow flowers with maroon centers. It has finely divided leaves and handles wet, soggy conditions better other Coreopsis.
Coreopsis lanceolata is commonly known as Lance Leaf Coreopsis. It is a perennial that forms a clump and has short rhizomes, and it is primarily found in the eastern and mid-western portions of the United States. The flowers are 1 – 2 inches, daisy-like and bright yellow with a yellow center, and the leaves are narrow and oval or ‘lance-shaped.’ Lance Leaf Coreopsis is a spring bloomer and will bloom into the summer and longer especially if it is deadheaded.
Coreopsis grandiflora is sometimes called Large-Flowered Tickseed. This species is also perennial that forms clumps and has rhizomes, so it is often found in colonies. As the common name suggests, this Coreopsis has large flowers that measure 2 ½ inches across. They are yellow with a yellow center and somewhat ragged edges on the ends of the petals. The leaves are linear pinnate and occur along the stems, usually in opposite pairs. Blooming usually starts in June and can last into fall.
Coreopsis verticillata goes by the common name of Whorled Tickseed or Threadleaf Coreopsis. It is found mainly in the Southeastern United States. It is also a perennial that forms a clump or rounded plant with yellow, daisy-like flowers, and it has an ultra fine texture. The foliage is extremely fine and needle-like, and it whorls around the thin upright stems.
There are many cultivars within each species and the colors (reds and rose shades added), blooms (double and semi-double), and sizes (dwarf and various heights) have been enhanced to make excellent plants for sunny flower gardens or borders. Propagation is by seed (or division for perennials) that can be started directly outside in a prepared seedbed in the early spring after frost season has ended. The Coreopsis seeds can be lightly raked into weed free soil and kept moist until germination. The plants should be watered regularly until they are nicely established. Coreopsis is a marvelous plant with a wide variety of cultivars to fit just perfectly in the landscape, and they will perform and will not disappoint!
Question for the weed: What cultivar of Coreopsis are you growing in your garden?
By Kimberly Bell