Did you know Coreopsis spp., also commonly known as tickseed, attracts small native sweat bees, native sunflower bees Svastra spp, long-horned bees, Melissodes spp., and hoover flies, Syrphidae spp. in our ecoregion 231? Read on.
Name: Coreopsis verticillata ‘Moonbeam’
Zones: , 3 to 9, herbaceous perennial
Size: 1.5 to 2 feet tall and wide
Conditions: Sun, average to dry moisture
Attracts: In ecoregion 231, Coreopsis spp. aren’t what we think of as the magnet for the sexiest pollinators, but good for the wildlife just the same. All creatures, great and small, right? Coreopsis spp. are also host plants for the Dainty Sulphur, Nathalis iole.
‘Moonbeam’ is a short-lived perennial in the Bee Better Teaching Garden, but we love the soft color so much, we keep replacing it. It may not be the highest ranking of the pollen and nectar plants, but in a mixed border, it’s very welcomed.
A few years back there was a breakthrough with red, and introductions such as Coreopsis ‘Redshift’ hit the scent. ‘Redshift’ works well at the front edge of a garden bed. ‘Redshift’ likes to splay, so it also works well in the interior of a garden bed, where it appears like a skirt on other perennials.The added red offers a richness to summer and fall combinations. Combining ‘Redshift’ with a native switchgrass that has red accents, such as Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’, pairs two relaxed styles for a bold statement. ‘Redshift’ massed as a ground cover will mimic the garden’s design. If the bed has a very formal nature, ‘Redshift’ will take on a formal flair. If planted as at the hem of country flowers and shrubs, it will take on a free-form naturalistic style.A trick I’ve found using this plant in design: The more red I pair it with, the more the red of the coreopsis pops. And I’m all about pop!
On Lindtner honeybee scale of 0 to 5, pollen and nectar content is 1 and 1, respectively. Coreopsis aren’t considered magnets for honey bees or butterflies, but they are beneficial within a diverse wildlife planting mix.