This naturalizing perennial is drought tolerant and a good choice for restoration or conservation projects.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Coreopsis verticillata is a rhizomatous perennial that grows in dense bushy clumps. Plants have many slender upright stems clothed in pairs of bright green thread-like leaves. In summer stems are topped by multitudes of small yellow daisies. Plants prefer a sunny or partly sunny site with dry or mesic soil. In an appropriate setting this fine textured perennial will mature into a 2-3’ tall feathery mound.
HABITAT & HARDINESS: Coreopsis verticillata is native to the eastern U. S. from Massachusetts to Florida and west to Arkansas. Plants have been introduced into Ontario and Quebec.
Habitats include open rocky dry woods, open pineland, margins of woods, pine savannahs and post oak savannahs.
Plants are hardy from USDA Zones 3-9.
PLANT DESCRIPTION: Coreopsis verticillata is an upright or mounding perennial wildflower. This rhizomatous species forms dense clumps that expand into colonies.
Leaves are opposite and very narrow. The blades are parted into 3 thread-like segments. Each blade has a pointed tip and no stalk or petiole. The fine textured foliage gives plants a quality of airiness.
From summer until early autumn plants bear a profusion of 1-2” clear yellow flowers. Each of the daisy-like blossoms consists of slender yellow ray florets surrounding a golden cluster of disk florets. The flowers are solitary or in loose cyme-like clusters. Dark colored achene seed form after blooming.
This plant is generally 2-3’ tall with a 1-2’ spread.
CULTURAL & MAINTENANCE NEEDS: Coreopsis verticillata is easy to grow in sunny dry or mesic sites. Plants thrive in infertile sandy and rocky soils and tolerate drought, low levels of salt, infertile soil, heat and humidity. If soil is too rich or moist, stems become weak and plants tend to flop.
Deadheading of spent flowers promotes a fall re-bloom and prevents unwanted seedling volunteers. Most gardeners simply shear the entire plant in late summer to deadhead and neaten matted growth at the same time.
Plants spread in garden situations by rhizomes and self-seeding and may be too aggressive for small manicured gardens.
This species is relatively pest free and is also unpalatable to deer and other herbivores.
LANDSCAPE USES: This is a good Groundcover for a Meadow or Wildlife Garden. Plants are also used as Accents and Butterfly Nectar Plants. This species tolerates some salt and drought and can be used in seaside location if there is no direct salt spray. Coreopsis verticillata has Showy Blooms and is appropriate for Cottage Gardens, Deer Resistant Plantings, Groupings or Mass Plantings, Rock Gardens, Water-wise Landscapes, Low Maintenance Plantings and Perennial Borders.
COMPANION & UNDERSTUDY PLANTS: Try pairing Coreopsis verticillata with Asclepias tuberosa, Echinacea purpurea, Liatris spicata and Stokesia laevis.
Coreopsis rosea is similar in appearance and would be a suitable substitute in sunny well drained sites if suitable moisture is present. In garden situations the cultivars ‘Moonbeam’ and ‘Zagreb’ could be considered as stand-ins.
TRIVIA: Coreopsis verticillata has very similar foliage and growth habit to that of Coreopsis rosea. Culturally the two are very different. Coreopsis verticillata is quite tolerant of heat and drought and Coreopsis rosea requires cooler temperatures and moist soils.
For more information on this plant, visit the USDA PLANTS Database: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=COVE5