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Coreopsis - Hardy and Beautiful Wildflowers

Updated on December 9, 2014
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Yvonne writes about and photographs the flora and fauna of Louisiana, sharing knowledge she learned through study and personal experience.

C. lanceolata
C. lanceolata

Native Flowering Perennials for Any Garden

The Coreopsis family contains many beautiful and hardy native perennial flowering plants. Most members have golden yellow flowers, though one that is native to the south is pink. These easy to grow flowering perennials attract butterflies and other pollinators and most are fragrant. Also called Tickseeds, they range in size from the dwarf, Coreopsis ariculata 'nana' to the tall annual Coreopsis tinctoria.

Besides being bright and cheery, coreopsis is a deer resistant plant. There is a Coreopsis for any garden and showy cultivars are constantly being developed. Tickseeds are an excellent choice for sustainable or environmentally friendly landscaping.

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Some Southern Coreopsis Varieties

Coreopsis lanceolata Print

This native perennial will multiply and you will be rewarded with hundreds of sweet scented golden flowers each year.
This native perennial will multiply and you will be rewarded with hundreds of sweet scented golden flowers each year. | Source

Lanceleaf Tickseed - Coreopsis lanceolata

Description

Lanceleaf Tickseed, Coreopsis lanceolata is probably the most common of the almost twenty species of perennial coreopsis distributed throughout the southeast. These golden yellow flowers grow in sand hills and along moist to dry roadsides. They bloom in mid to late spring. Bees and other pollinators are attracted to the blooms.

The ray flowers (petals) of this coreopsis are usually toothed which helps in identification. The leaves are linear to narrowly lance shaped. The long flower stalks spring from a hardened base and can be from 8-30 inches long.

Lanceleaf Coreopsis is very easy to grow from seeds started in the fall or very early spring.

Plains Coreopsis

The striking blooms of this hardy annual can be seen along roadsides all over the south. They also make a statement in the flower garden.
The striking blooms of this hardy annual can be seen along roadsides all over the south. They also make a statement in the flower garden.

Annual Coreopsis, Plains Tickseed - Coreopsis tinctoria

Description

The large clusters of golden yellow flowers with deep red centers of the Plains (annual) Coreopsis appear in mid summer. Plants reach heights of 12 to 40 inches. Plains Tickseed is native to the lower 48 states and Canada. It is common along roadsides and in disturbed soil. These flowers look nice planted in large groups or with other perennials and annuals.

Though it is not a perennial, it will reseed readily so you usually have some volunteers popping up each year.

Annual Coreopsis can be grown in full sun or part shade in well drained soils. Seeds can be planted in fall or very early spring for summer bloom.

Start annual Coreopsis tinctoria seeds in the fall or early spring.

Dwarf Coreopsis

Coreopsis Auriculata is a delightful dwarf variety which lends itself to woodland gardens or flower border.
Coreopsis Auriculata is a delightful dwarf variety which lends itself to woodland gardens or flower border. | Source

Dwarf Coreopsis, Mouse-eared Tickseed, Lobed Tickseed - Coreopsis auriculata 'nana'

Description

Dwarf Coreopsis is a small native perennial which usually grows from 4-12 inches tall and makes a great ground cover. After the golden yellow flowers bloom, the plants produce short stolons which form long spreading colonies. In the wild, Dwarf Coreopsis can be found growing along roadsides and in openings in mixed hardwood and pine forests. It can take more shade than the other species of Coreopsis.

The variety, Coreopsis auriculata 'Nana' is often grown as a blooming ground cover or border in garden settings. Flowers and stems were once used to produce an orange to red-orange dye.

Coreopsis auriculata 'nana' Plants

Coreopsis nana is a great ground cover or border plant for partial shade or sun.

Coreopsis and Red Clover

A glorious field of wildflowers containing coreopsis, red clover and many other blooms.
A glorious field of wildflowers containing coreopsis, red clover and many other blooms.

How to Grow Coreopsis

All varieties of coreopsis are easy to grow. The larger varieties prefer full sun, but will grow well in part shade. Coreopsis auriculata is happier with more shade. All can be started from seed in the fall or early spring. The perennial varieties can be divided when the clump gets large.

Gardening with Native Plants of the South

One of the best books about gardening with native plants in the south. I use my copy all the time.





How to grow coreopsis Video

Atlantic Coastal Plain Wildflowers Guide

Another of the wonderful nature books from Wormsloe Foundation. This one is for the coastal regions of the upper south.

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    • profile image

      resabi 5 years ago

      Visually appealing and informative lens about these flowers. I think your photos are great.

    • profile image

      editionh 4 years ago

      I was looking for some nice flowers to spice up my garden. It seems Coreopsis an option for the lazy gardener :).

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