2018 – the Year of the Coreopsis

Mon. Feb. 26, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  2018 – the Year of the Coreopsis

Each year the National Garden Bureau selects a perennial, an annual, a bulb and a vegetable to highlight.  And 2018’s perennial of the year is the Coreopsis!

In the language of flowers, Coreopsis means “always cheerful”.  I love that and I love these perennials.  As many as 80 Coreopsis species can be found naturalized in the Americas.  That means you can find options from 6 inches to 3 feet!  While most are shades of yellow and gold, many species also contain red, bronze and burgundy colors and have been commonly used as dyes in native fabrics.

Coreopsis has a long bloom season.  Generally speaking they produce a first wonderful burst of flowers in Spring and continue blooming throughout summer.  


One of the best-selling of all time is the 1989 AAS winner ‘Early Sunrise’.  These are attractive, compact, uniform plants that grow about 18 inches tall and have a 15-inch spread. Foliage is glossy, green and healthy looking. The semi-double flowers are about 2 inches across.  Their bright gold color is so intense they capture your eye even at a distance.  Some cultivars would make great mulch plants.  

‘Early Sunrise’

I talked about those a couple of weeks ago, generally using grasses and groundcovers, however with their spread, coreopsis, in full sun, would make a lovely carpet.  ‘Nana’ is one that grows to just 9 inches but spreads up to 2 feet.  Copious yellow-orange daisylike flowers in cold climates.  This one is tolerant to zone 3.


 ‘Sunkiss’ is really pretty with yellow tipped flowers with a burgundy starburst in the middle.  This one will grow to 24 inches with a smaller spread of 18 inches.