Four Top Rated Coreopsis You May Not Know

Coreopsis ‘Gold Standard’

C. ‘Gold Standard’

In 2016, Mt. Cuba Center in Greenville, Delaware reported the garden performance of 13 different perennial coreopsis (tickseed) species, hybrids, and related cultivars native to the eastern U.S. Over a period of three years, plants were assessed for their habit, floral display, disease resistance, and longevity. In the trial many popular tickseed cultivars performed poorly because of disease and winter survivability.

Four new selections were recognized and named because of their outstanding performance in the trial. The following plants, listed in order starting with the highest rated, are among the top-performing coreopsis.

  1. ‘Summer Sunshine’ coreopsis (C. palustris ‘Summer Sunshine’) is the highest-rated coreopsis in the 3-year trial. Vigorous mounds of foliage grow to 30 inches tall and remain lush, sturdy, and dense all season long. The attractive foliage erupts in late September with a sea of golden yellow flowers with dark central cones. The amazing display lasts for six weeks, providing an important late-season food source for pollinators. ‘Summer Sunshine’ is a rhizomatous selection that slowly increases in size by 2½ feet over three years. It has superior growth habit and disease resistance.
  2. ‘Flower Tower’ coreopsis (C. tripteris ‘Flower Tower’), appropriately named, towers over the competition at an astonishing 8 feet tall. This tall cultivar does not flop with thick, sturdy stems, standing up to the strongest winds. ‘Flower Tower’ was the tallest coreopsis in the trial and has the largest flowers (2½”). During the month of August, they create a wonderful display swaying atop the lofty stems. ‘Flower Tower’ is perfect for large-scale landscapes, but a challenge in average sized gardens. C. tripteris ‘Flower Tower’ is a rhizomatous selection that spreads very slowly– about 2 feet over 3 years.
  3. ‘Gold Standard’ coreopsis (C. tripteris ‘Gold Standard’) is a superior selection of tall tickseed (C. tripteris). C. tripteris grow typically to nearly 7 feet tall, has a floppy growth habit and subpar floral display. But ‘Gold Standard’, collected in Alabama by Mt. Cuba Center, is slightly shorter (5½ feet’ tall) and incredibly sturdy. In late July, multitudes of bright yellow flowers appear above the vigorous foliage, reaches its peak in mid-August, and floral display lasts over two months. ‘Gold Standard’, in fact the whole species exhibits excellent disease resistance, particularly powdery mildew, downy mildew, and leaf spot, that plague other coreopsis. ‘Gold Standard’ is a rhizomatous cultivar that spreads slowly– about 2’ over three years.

    C. ‘Last Dance’

  4. ‘Last Dance’ coreopsis (C. integrifolia ‘Last Dance’) is a fall-blooming tickseed that has a superior uniformly compact habit over other forms of C. integrifolia. ‘Last Dance’ emerges slowly  in spring and does not reach 1 foot tall until June, and is just 2 feet tall. The gold colored flowers are extra-large (2 inches) with thick pleated petals. It is the latest coreopsis to flower in October.

View the entire research report on Coreopsis on the MT Cuba Center website.

Photos furnished by MT Cuba Center, Greenville, DE.

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