July: Coreopsis

July is full of action when it comes to striking plants, so it wasn't easy to choose just one plant, but fortunately we have many years to go. This time around we'll take a look at coreopsis, sometimes called tickseed. It comes in all sorts of hot, summery yellows, reds, peaches, and pinks.

Photo by Maria Gulley

Photo by Maria Gulley

When I talk about coreopsis I'm not referring to one species, but rather to several species and hybrids with an impressive range of colors and petal forms. The parent species of many of these varieties are thread-leaf tickseed, lance-leaf tickseed, large-flower tickseed, and rose tickseed. Thread-leaf tickseed has finely divided thread-like leaves covering the stems to give an airy texture to the plant. It has smaller, more delicate flowers. Lance-leaf tickseed (an Indiana native) has broader leaves less densely packed on the stem, and the flowers tend to be bigger and bolder. As you may guess, large-flower tickseed has even larger flowers, and rose tickseed brings pink into the color options. The hybrids and varieties of these species and other coreopsis can fall anywhere in between in leaf texture and flower size.

By Rob Duval - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

By Rob Duval - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Common Name: Coreopsis or Tickseed

Scientific Name: Coreopsis species and hybrids

Notable Varieties: 'Moonbeam', 'Creme Brulee', 'Zagreb', 'American Dream', 'Route 66'

Light: full sun

Size: clumps 18" tall and wide for most varities

Soil: tolerant of many conditions, but not wet soil

Blooms: range of warm colors on daisy-like flowers 1-3" across

Other Notes: drought resistant; deer tolerant; reseeds, but not a lot

See other plants of the month.

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