Plant of the Week
Lanceleaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata)
By Tania Hanline
A member of the Asteraceae family, Coreopsis lanceolata is native to most of the United States, parts of Canada, and Mexico. It grows from multiple erect stems and has opposite, sessile, linear oblong leaves that are found mostly in the bottom half of the plant. Both ray and disk flowers are present with the ray flowers having four lobes at the tips. The big flowers and undivided deeply cut leaves with an opposite arrangement make this any easy wildflower to identify in the field. It is hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 3-8 and typically blooms from April through July.
Lanceleaf coreopsis has been a long time favorite of both beginning and advanced gardeners. It is easily propagated from seed and as is typical of many native wildflowers, it is often not until the second year when numerous blooms are formed. This wildflower prefers full sun and does best in well-drained soil. Its self-seeding nature makes it a perfect candidate for prairie, meadow, and native wildflower plantings. When conditions are right it will grow into large colonies and produce showy yellow flower carpets. As long as the seed heads are removed it will also do well growing in a border. Lanceleaf coreopsis is a very dependable and prolific flowering native perennial. It has few problems with insects or disease and will thrive in conditions of high heat, drought and humidity.
Finally, bees, birds, and butterflies are quite fond of lanceleaf coreopsis. It is a common component of pollinator gardens and native wildflower mixes.