Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Coreopsis stems are often used for summer bouquets. These are a great choice for cutting gardens. Here are some wonderful new varieties for 2011.
Big Bang Coreopsis
Very free flowering, Cosmic Eye is a new variety in the Big Bang series for 2011. This tickseed is a perennial, and reaches 1½ feet in height. It begins blooming in early summer, and continues until early fall. It is hardy to zone five.
Cosmic Eye has striking bicolored blooms. The outer rims of the petals are bright yellow, and form a shapely border around the large, reddish to burgundy eye. The center is yellow. These blossoms are two inches wide.
The Big Bang series also includes Galaxy, a new 2011 addition. This has lovely solid colored, semi-double blooms that are pure yellow. Otherwise, the plants are similar to Cosmic Eye.
The Big Bang series of tickseeds also includes several colors that were introduced earlier. These include Redshift and Full Moon. Full Moon has pure canary blossoms that are three inches across. The plants are over 2½ feet tall, and are hardy to zone five.
Big Bang Redshift is up to three feet tall. The blooms are mostly yellow with a colorful red eye. However, when the weather becomes cooler these can feature various colors, including yellow with flecks of red and pure red.
Big Bang Star Cluster is hardy to zone four. This is over 2½ feet in height with a spread of two feet. Somehow, these blooms remind me of the annual pink and white cosmos. They’re beautifully pastel, white with some light tinges towards the base of the petals that forms an eye. However, the eye is much less prominent than those seen in the Colorofic series. The centers are yellow. Star Cluster begins blooming in June, and continues until a hardy frost.
This series was bred by Darrell Probst from native species. They prefer a well drained, moist soil.
Coreopsis Sienna Sunset
Originally introduced in 2010, this threadleaf coreopsis is hardy to zone five. Over 1½ feet in height, it has a spread of two feet. This is named for the burnt sienna petals. As the blossoms age, the flowers become orange. This is earlier flowering than some coreopsis. It begins in late spring, continuing into late summer. This was a sport of Crème Brulee, which has pure yellow flowers.