Friday, March 25, 2016

Flower Friday: Light up your landscape with lanceleaf tickseed.

Photo by Stacey Matrazzo.
Lanceleaf tickseed (Coreopsis lanceolata)
Click on terms for botanical definitions.

Lanceleaf tickseed is a perennial wildflower with conspicuously sunny blooms. The flower consists of a dense head of yellow-orange disk florets, surrounded by bright yellow ray florets. The rays are four-lobed or notched. The flower stalk arises from a clumplike basal rosette of lance-shaped leaves (giving the plant is species epithet and the descriptor in its common name). The leaves are grass-green in color and become lobed as they move up the stem. They are oppositely arranged.

Lanceleaf tickseed typically blooms in spring and sometimes into summer. It occurs naturally in moist sandhills, marshes, and along swamp edges.

Lanceleaf tickseed is a wonderful wildflower that attracts butterflies and other pollinators. Its seeds are commonly eaten by birds and small wildlife.

The genus name Coreopsis is derived from the Greek words koris, meaning “bug," and opsis, meaning "view." This refers to the shape of the fruit and is also the source of the plant’s common name, “tickseed.”

Coreopsis lanceolata leaves.
Photo by Stacey Matrazzo.
Lanceleaf tickseed is one of 13 species  of Coreopsis native to Florida. Coreopsis is Florida’s state wildflower.

Family: Asteraceae (Daisy, aster or composite family)
Native range: Panhandle; Alachua, Lake, St. Johns, Suwannee and Volusia Counties
Hardiness: 8–11
Soil: Moist, well-drained soil
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Growth habit: 12”­–30” tall
Propagation: Seed, division
Garden tips: Lanceleaf tickseed is very adaptable and does well in a garden or landscape setting. It can be used in butterfly or wildflower gardens, or in a mass wildflower or meadow planting. It is a prolific self-seeder and may become weedy if not maintained.

Lanceleaf tickseed plants are often available from nurseries that specialize in Florida native plants. Visit www.plantrealflorida.org to find a nursery in your area. Seeds can be purchased through the Florida Wildflower Growers Cooperative.

Click here to see where lanceleaf tickseed occurs naturally.

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