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Coreopsisagreatall-Americangenus

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Annual and Perennial Species.Cultivars ofthe annual Coreopsis tinctoria are great gardenperformers yet underutilized in the floricul-ture industry. This is probably because theycan be difficult to manage in a typical cellpack. On the other hand, the perennial culti-vars are very popular and have consistentlybeen among the top 10 perennials sold in theUnited States over the last decade. Most com-mercial cultivars of coreopsis belong to speciesauriculata, grandiflora, lanceolata, rosea orverticillata. Many of these coreopsis specieshybridize freely and have contributed to theplethora of excellent hybrid cultivars available(see Figure 2, below). The prestigiousFluoroselect Award has been given to seed-propagated coreopsis ‘Sunray’ (1980), ‘EarlySunrise’ (1989), ‘Heliot’ (2004) and ‘RisingSun’ (2005). ‘Early Sunrise’ was also named asan All-American Selections winner in 1989. The genus coreopsis offers adiverse mix of perennial andannual species and cultivars thatwork great in a variety of gardensettings. Coreopsis belongs tothe asteraceae family, and the daisy-like flowerscome in yellow, white, pink and red, some withdark brown, mahogany or maroon centers. Thepetal forms range from single to fully double,and some even have serrated petal margins,giving flowers a delicate appearance. Manycoreopsis cultivars are tolerant to cold, heat,humidity and adverse soil conditions, thus pro-viding extensive choices of plant material toNorthern and Southern gardeners. Most core-opsis cultivars are easy to grow in the gardenand make an excellent plant choice for evennovice gardeners. Coreopsis can be used in thelandscape as a specimen or in borders and massplantings. Some species are also used in mixedcontainers and hanging baskets. Native Coreopsis Species. All garden core-opsis species are native to the United States.The Plants Database maintained by theNatural Resources Conservation Service ofUSDA has 33 different native species andtheir native habitats listed on its Web site.Coreopsis has been the designated wildflowerof the state of Florida since 1991. The uniqueCoreopsis gigantea grows on SouthernCalifornia coastal islands while Coreopsislanceolatagrows on sand dunes along theGreat Lakes of Michigan. Coreopsis specieshave been recommended for roadside planti-ngs in several Central and Southeastern statesand can be niche-marketed for conservationprojects and native-plant gardens.100GPNJuly 2005crop cultivationSpecies Cultivar Description Tinctoria ‘Calliopsis’ Yellow flowers with maroon centers. ‘Mahogany Mahogany flowers; looks beautiful Midget’in the landscape; blooms all summer long. ‘Seashells’ Golden yellow flowers with tubular petals that resemble seashells. ‘Tiger’ Dark red flowers with a yellow, exotic-looking pattern on petals. Figure 1. Annual coreopsis selectionsSpecies Cultivar DescriptionAuriculata ‘Nana’ Dainty plants form golden yellow flowers; day neutral. ‘Zamphir’ Yellow flowers with a unique fluted shape; vigorous sport of ‘Nana’; day neutral. Grandiflora ‘Baby Sun’ Large, semi-double, yellow flowers; petite perennial. ‘Domino’ Bright yellow flowers with a maroon eye. ‘Early Sunrise’ Fleuroselect gold medal winner and All American Selections in 1989; great cultivar bearing large, bright yellow, semi-double flowers; prolific bloomer; attracts butterflies. ‘Flying Saucers’ Patented cultivar with large, golden yellow flowers. ‘Heliot’ Produces abundant yellow flowers with brown centers; 2004 Fleuroselect gold medal winner. ‘Mayfield Giant’ One of the older cultivars, known for its tall plant height; large yellow flowers. ‘Mayfield Maiden’ Large double yellow flowers. ‘Rising Sun’ Bright yellow, semi-double flowers with a maroon center; early blooming cultivar; winner of 2005 Fleuroselect gold medal. ‘Sundancer’ Bears bright yellow flowers. ‘Sunfire’ Medium sized, yellow flowers with single petals and maroon centers. ‘Sunray’ Vigorous plants bear double, large, bright yellow flowers; 1980 Fleuroselect gold medal winner. Lanceolata ‘Goldfink’ Plants are short, only 1 foot tall; flowers are large and bright yellow in color. ‘Ruby Throat’ Flowers are yellow with ruby colored eye. ‘Sterntaler’ Large flowers with yellow serrated petals and brown centers. Rosea ‘Alba’ Fine foliage and beautiful white daisy-like flowers. ‘American Dream’ 1993 Dutch Plant of the Year; beautiful when covered with dainty pink flowers that have yellow centers. ‘Sweet Dreams’ Bi-colored petals that are pale pink towards the outside and crimson towards the center. Verticillata ‘Golden Gain’ Golden yellow flowers. ‘Golden Showers’ Upright, clump-forming plants with fine foliage; produces bright, golden yellow flowers all summer; vigorous growth habit. ‘Moonbeam’ 1992 Perennial Plant Of The Year; great garden performer; suitable for hanging baskets and mixed containers; fine foliage is covered with tiny lemon yellow flowers. ‘Zagreb’ Fine foliage and deep yellow flowers; forms nice mounds. Hybrids ‘Crème Brulee’ Hybrid of verticillata and grandiflora; foliage and form are similar to ‘Moonbeam’ but habit is improved; large pale yellow flowers. ‘Tequila Sunrise’ Probably a hybrid between grandiflora and lanceolata; variegated foliage gives a unique appearance; bright yellow flowers with a brown eye. ‘Limerock Ruby’ Natural cross between unknown coreopsis; truly spectacular ruby red flowers are about 11⁄2 inches in diameter on a tidy plant; not reliably hardy. ‘Limerock Passion’ A sport of ‘Limerock Ruby’; lavender pink flowers with yellow centers; hardy to Zone 7; best as an annual. Figure 2. Perennial coreopsis selectionsBy Sonali Padhye and Art CameronResearch to help you sort through all the great new coreopsis cultivars on the market.Coreopsis grandiflora ‘Sunfire’.Coreopsis: A Great All-American GenusJuly 2005GPN101crop cultivationPRODUCTION REQUIREMENTSHardiness Zones. Most garden-worthyperennial coreopsis cultivars are reported to becold-hardy to USDA Zone 4, with some notableexceptions. Suppliers now list ‘Limerock Ruby’as Zone 6, while the new introduction‘Limerock Passion’ is listed as a tender perenni-al (Zone not yet established). Despite their lackof hardiness in the Northern states, these culti-vars still have great market


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