Coreopsis (Coreopsis sp.)

Country roadsides and ditches are sporting the bright yellow flowers of coreopsis. On slender wiry stems they bloom abundantly throughout the summer. A common name for this flower is tickseed because each seed looks like a tick. For the same reason, its generic name comes from the Greek words coris (a bug), and opsis (appearance).

Coreopsis lanceolata is a perennial, growing in small clumps but forming extensive colonies, stems branching near apex, disk flowers yellow.

Coreopsis auriculata nana grows only five to six inches tall and bears orange-yellow blossoms. It is the first coreopsis to bloom in the spring.

Coreopsis major is an erect perennial up to three feet tall, branching above. Mid-stem leaves consist of a whorl of what appears to be six leaves, but is actually two opposite sessile leaves, each leaf divided into three narrow, lance-shaped segments. The flower-heads are one to two inches across with yellow ray flowers, and red or yellow disk flowers. The rays are not conspicuously toothed. Common in woodlands, thickets, and old fields.

Coreopsis can remain untended in fields or on sunny banks, where the plants will thrive and multiply indefinitely. New plants may be started easily from seeds, or clump divisions in the spring.