Thursday, January 9, 2014

It's Flower Friday! Meet Coreopsis leavenworthii

Coreopsis leavenworthii on a roadside. Photo: Jeff Norcini
Today we're getting to know Coreopsis leavenworthii - Leavenworth's tickseed. This annual herbaceous wildflower has showy, daisy-like heads of bright yellow ray flowers surrounding a center of dark brown to black disc flowers. The bloom can grow up to 2 inches in diameter and can appear year-round.

The leaves of C. leavenworthii are small and linear. Its natural habitat is pine flatwoods, but it is often used as a component of mixed wildflower and butterfly gardens, and is excellent for sunny roadsides, highway medians and powerline easements. C. leavenworthii is almost endemic to Florida — its only other occurrences are in two Alabama counties.

This tickseed is great in gardens and adapts to drier soils. Its tiny seeds earned it its nickname.

Family: Aster (or daisy) family (Asteraceae)
Hardiness: Zones 8–11.
Growth Habit: 1’- 3’ tall.
Soil: Prefers moist, acidic soils.
Exposure: Full sun.

Fun fact: The genus Coreopsis is Florida’s state wildflower, and it appears on the State Wildflower license tag. 

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