Celebrate Earth Day with Native Coreopsis Flowers
North Florida is bursting with blooms for Earth Day. The dazzling display of yellow Coreopsis flowers across fields and along roadways are complimenting the beautiful array of pink and purple native Phlox and Lyre-leaf Sage. The daisy like Coreopsis flowers seemingly wave at you as they dance in the wind. I love Coreopsis so much I named a dog after them, we called her Corie unless she was in trouble and then she was Coreopsis!
Florida’s State Wildflower
The genus Coreopsis is Florida’s state wildflower. Thirteen coreopsis species occur in Florida, eleven of which are widely considered native to Florida. Coreopsis tinctoria is native to the U.S. but is considered non-native in Florida. Coreopsis basalis is considered native by some and non-native by others. Most of the Coreopsis species produce sunny yellow flowers. As you travel in the panhandle, you may see the pink color flowers of Coreopsis nudata.
Natural Dye for yellow and red colors
Plants have long history of being used for their staining, dyeing, and coloring properties. While a rainbow of colors can be produced, most natural dyes produce soft shades that draw from the natural world. Natural dyes have lost out in mass production because they are impossible to standardize. You can create unique hues when making your own dye. https://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/design/outdoor-living/growing-plants-for-dye.html
Coreopsis flowers produce a rich, yellow color while the whole plant produces a reddish color. Check out how to dye fabric using Coreopsis flowers by clicking here.
Propagation and Establishment
Coreopsis can be propagated by seeds or division. Seeds need to be collected soon after they ripen because the seed heads easily shatter. To store seeds you collected, spread the seeds out in a thin layer on some newspaper and let them dry for a few days. The dried seeds can be stored in a paper bag in the refrigerator until they are planted. Direct seeding into a garden or meadow can be done from October through January. Seed should be planted no deeper than 1/8 inch in a firm seedbed. During abnormally dry winters, seedbeds should be irrigated occasionally.
Propagate plants by division in the late winter or early spring.
Most Coreopsis species grow best in full sun in slightly moist, well-drained soil. If you wish to fertilize, use low rate of a controlled-release fertilizer.
Wildflowers and Pollinators
To increase biodiversity in your yard and bring in more pollinators, beneficial insects, and butterflies add a variety of wildflowers. Different pollinators have different needs so providing a variety of flowers sizes and types increases pollinator populations. For more information on wildflowers for North Florida, go to https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep061