The Coreopsis flowers axe plants of the prairie, sun plants which soak up the growing heat of the sunshine from June almost all the way through the Illinois summer.
Coreopsis lanceolata L.
June - August Prairie roadsides.
The flowers have a quality of scintillating brilliance which one finds in the bright blossoms of buttercups and sneezeweeds (Heleniums). There is a sheen of gold overlaid with sun-sparkle. The flowers are slightly cupped, a golden center surrounded by petal-like rays which are deeply toothed in ornamental fashion. The calyx is brassy green-gold, very smooth and glossy, the stem shiny, the long narrow deeply cut leaves bright green and slightly hairy.
This is the Coreopsis which has become a member of the garden society. Perhaps, as in the case of many other plants, this cultivation of a prairie plant took place after the seeds were sent to England by early plant explorers, developed somewhat, and were sent back as something new and fine and exclusive, to be planted once more in the soil of' America.
There are many tickseeds native to Illinois, but of them all. only C. lanceolata seems to be cultivated. The others vary from showiness equal to C. lanceolata, to lank weediness and small flowers.
The palmate tickseed (Coreopsis palmata) grows on the open prairie and in low places. The stiff plants hear one. seldom more, bright yellow, flat blossoms. The leaves are deeply and palmately lobed, dark green, opposite on the stiff stem.