Plant of the Week: Lanceleaf Coreopsis

As if summoned by royal decree, Coreopsis lanceolata has rapidly mustered its lances like shining knights circling the round table of the pond at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo. Its shimmering, yellow, daisy-like flowers currently dominate the site and will dazzle through early summer. The solitary flowers have eight tooth-tipped rays and flat center disks. They bloom atop slender, erect stems with narrow, hairy, lance-shaped leaves emerging from the base. Though lanceleaf coreopsis grows in small clumps, it self-seeds freely to form extensive colonies. A dependable perennial wildflower widely cultivated as an ornamental by gardeners, it does well in prairies, open fields, sandy woods and roadside terrain across much of North America.

Common Names: lanceleaf coreopsis, sand coreopsis, lanceleaf tickseed (the flowers produce tiny seeds resembling ticks)

Scientific Name: Coreopsis lanceolata

Family: Asteraceae

Native Status: Central and Southeast United States; most common coreopsis species of North American prairies

Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial

Height: 1–2 feet

Flowering Time: May–July

Flower Color: Lemon yellow to gold

Interest: Showy flowers; attracts butterflies


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