Coreopsis 'Redshift'

Route 66 tickseed    Perennial of the Month-- April 2013 Perry caricature

(core-ee-op' siss)  (pronunciation at link, turn up volume if too low)

Common name:  Redshift tickseed

Family:  Asteraceae, aster (composite, daisy)

Height x width: 30-36in. x 24-30in.

Growth rate, habit: moderate, upright large clump

Foliage: shape and size is intermediate between grandiflora and verticillata, lanceolate to 3in. long and up to inch wide, opposite, finely hairy

Flowers:  early summer, with some flowers continuing midsummer to early fall, large flowers to 2in. across, light yellow with serrated petal (ray flower) tips, red ring in center around gold button of disc flowers and often streaking the yellow ray flowers; variable coloring among flowers, and shifting to more red in cooler weather (hence the name) with almost all dark red later in fall; held on strong stems on tips, arising from leaf axils; floriferous (over 100 flowers on plant in one-gal. container); ray flowers are sterile, no pollen observed in disc flowers (of any use for pollinators?)

Hardiness: USDA zones (4)5-9 

Soil:  average well-drained, tolerates poor soils such as rocky, withstands some drought once established

Light:  full sun (>6 hours per day)

Pests and problems:  none significant, may rot in too wet soils; reported to have good resistance to powdery mildew 

Landscape habit, uses:  borders, cut flowers, containers, cottage gardens, large rock gardens, native gardens; combines well with fall asters, lavender, many perennial geraniums, coneflowers--particularly light yellow or purple, ornamental grasses 

Other interest: from the Big Bang series of Darrell Probst (Hubbarston, MA), from breeding of 8 species, the second release after 'Full Moon'; similar to 'Creme Brulee' only with larger flowers with burgundy coloring, sturdier habit and stems, hardier; appears hardy in at least zone 4b with sufficient snow cover; deer resistant, tolerates heat and humidity; common name from seeds resembling ticks

Other culture:  low maintenance, in warmer climates may need shearing in late summer to remove untidy foliage and promote late rebloom

Propagation:  commercially from licensed propagators PP20,412, home by division early fall or early spring, summer stem cuttings 

Sources:  many online and local specialty nurseries

Return to Perry's Perennial Pages UVM extension