Taxonomy and Botany of Moonbeam Coreopsis
Taxonomy classifies Moonbeam coreopsis flowers as Coreopsis verticillata 'Moonbeam,' the latter term being the cultivar name. The common name for this genus is "tickseed." But the genus name is so familiar to the average gardener that it basically doubles as a common name; when used as an alternate common name, the first letter is not capitalized below.
The plants are grouped in the aster family.
Characteristics of the Plants
Moonbeam coreopsis plants are one of the threadleaf varieties. Reaching 2 feet tall, these perennials bear clusters of light yellow, daisy-like blooms. The pale color of the blossoms probably accounts for the origin of the cultivar name. This bushy plant is valued for its long blooming period.
Planting Zones, Sun and Soil Requirements
Uses in the Landscape, Warning About Growing Moonbeam Coreopsis
This perennial reputedly can be somewhat invasive in some regions and under certain conditions. Consult with your county extension office to find out whether it is considered to be invasive in your region.
The plants are popular in border plantings. Their drought tolerance makes them candidates for rock gardens (if you need tall plants somewhere) and xeriscaping. The fact that they are long-blooming perennials makes them a reliable choice for injecting color into the landscape. They are also plants that attract butterflies.
Care for Moonbeam Coreopsis Flowers
Extend the blooming period for Moonbeam coreopsis flowers through deadheading. Gardeners often perform this operation on plants by pinching with their fingertips. But, as one Master Gardener notes, "Some of the smaller flowered varieties are difficult to deadhead and you may prefer to shear the plants, once the first flush of flowers fade. They will fill in quickly." Indeed, this is probably how most gardeners deadhead their tickseed plants.
More on "Tickseed" Plants: What's in a Name?
The word, "coreopsis," which is the scientific name for the flower, derives from the Greek for "bug-like," due to the resemblance that coreopsis seeds bear to ticks. Again, "tickseed" is the common name for coreopsis. But this is a case where the scientific name (coreopsis) is more commonly used than the common name (tickseed). Thus, for practical purposes, the scientific name has become the common name. Perhaps this is because retailers feel consumers would shun a plant associated (even if only in name) with ticks, some of which bear Lyme disease. After spending time, energy and money spraying to kill ticks, the consumer might be put off by the name, "tickseed" -- even if only subconsciously.
Or it could be that, as scientific names go, "coreopsis" has a rather melodious ring to it.
There are other types of coreopsis, giving you a variety of options in terms of the color palette. For example, C. rosea 'Nana' is a dwarf with pink blooms, 'Mango Punch' is orange, and 'Ruby Frost' sports a wonderful red color in its bicolored flowers.