Friday, September 4, 2009

Coreopsis Synopsis

One of my favorites in the garden this summer has been Coreopsis 'Limerock Dream.'

I always wonder how some cultivars earn their names and seeing this one in full bloom, I think I know. It's an airy cloud of color that greets me each time I walk through the arbor entrance to Max's Garden.

Unfortunately, this particular one isn't hardy here (hardy only in zones 8-10), but its floriferous quality and luscious color assures that I'll be buying it again next spring.

'Limerock Dream' growing up through Sedum groundcover

Coreopsis or Tickseed, in one form or another, is a tough plant in my Midwestern garden. Needing little care and with most blooming all summer long, they quickly won a permanent home here.

Over the last several years, these have performed well in our clay soil:

'Moonbeam' was one of the first Coreopsis varieties I acquired (from Mom). I love its airy foliage and the pale yellow color. At times, during the summer it's covered with blooms. Shear it back and it does it all over again.

Another airy foliage variety, 'Sweet Dreams' has come back reliably year after year and, like 'Moonbeam,' works well at the front of the border.

I've read that Coreopsis rosea 'American Dreams' will spread well if it's happy. My sister-in-law's in Michigan is proof of that - she has a gorgeous clump of it. Mine must be slightly miffed, because it hasn't really spread much, but it continues to appear each spring and bloom all summer. The blooms are very small - about ¾-inch in diameter. Another one for the front of the border.

Similar to 'Moonbeam,' except with a deeper golden yellow color and reputedly hardier, 'Zagreb' is a vigorous grower.

'Alba' struggles in my garden, which is disappointing to me, because I love its pure white blooms. It's a white twin of 'American Dreams' in size, foliage, and bloom.

I don't care for the golden yellow of a lot of the Coreopsis varieties, but I am a big fan of quilled petals, so 'Jethro Tull' is one of my favorites. In my garden, this isn't a strong grower, but it comes back reliably each spring. This one is a shorter variety, growing only about 6" in height.

I added a few new varieties to the gardens this year, and while they aren't all perennials, I liked each of them well enough that I'll purchase them again when spring rolls around, if need be.

Hardy to zone 4, 'Redshift' went through many different colorations this year. It's supposed to do that, but it never did look like some of the photos I've seen online. Early in the season, it looked like the photo at left.

Later on in the summer, it took on a base color of light yellow (seen in the photo below), and the reddish color changed from magenta to deep brick red. I prefer the latter, because the earlier one looked too much like 'Sweet Dreams.'

One thing is for sure, it's a blooming machine and a bee and butterfly magnet!

One of my very favorites this year has been 'Sienna Sunset.' It has that airy foliage of 'Moonbeam' and a wonderful blend of salmon and yellow colors. The salmon color deepens over the petals, perhaps triggered by temperature or sun exposure. It's been a non-stop bloomer, even without deadheading, and is supposed to be hardy to zone 5.

Finally, a cute little annual that I grew both this year and last, is Coreopsis tinctoria. They're a rich burgundy and have that classic Coreopsis appearance, in miniature, with blooms that are about half an inch in diameter.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

I didn't realize that there were so many types of Coreopsis. I have killed a few of them so I don't look for them any more. This is a lovely collection you have here.

Dave@The Home Garden said...

Coreopsis is such a fun plant! I added the 'Limerock Dream' also and may find myself with a dead plant but I'm hoping we're on the border and it will stay hardy. 'Jethro Tull' has done great in the garden!

Connie said...

They are all pretty, but my fave is
Resdhift, in the second photo. Sienna Sunset is a beauty, as well. Anything in that color attracts my attention.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I had no idea there were so many varieties either. All are beautiful, but my favorite is the Sienna Sunset!

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

wow What a Coreopsis collection! Love that Limerock Dream. neat colors.

LJ said...

Wow, I love the Limerock Dream! If only it was hardy to zone 6... sigh. It seems like so many of the plants I like are hardy to zone 8.

One of these days I really have to get around to picking up Sweet Dreams, it's a cutie and I'm sure I can find a spot for it.

I agree with you on recommending the coreopsis tinctoria. This is my first year growing them, and they have been so easy and trouble free, with tons of flowers ranging from all yellow to yellow marked with red to solid red. Definitely worth it.

Laurie and Chris said...

Coreopsis is one of my favorites also. I really like the peachy color I have never seen that color before.

Kerri said...

Kylee, what a wonderful collection of coreopsis! I want them all! :)
All are beautiful, but Sienna Sunset is my favorite.
I haven't forgotten the snowdrops and will get them packaged up soon.
Our weather has been perfect for gardening lately!

Anonymous said...

I love that coral one! I, too, have Limerock Dream. I hope mine comes back next year (Z7), but it hasn't done great this year. It got too big for its own good and some of the stems broke off at the base, so it's never really looked great. I also have zagreb and moonbeam (a bunch of transplants from my mom), plus a few tequila sunrise. I ended up buying a lot of coreopsis this year on clearance. Most of it didn't bloom quite as long as I would have liked, but I'm excited to see them come back next year I've been trying to resist getting a Jethro Tull all summer. Stop tempting me!!

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