Coreopsis lanceolata - Linnaeus
Asteraceae (Composite Sunflower) Family
Plant is an upright smooth perennial with a rhizome from which new growth emerges. Preferred habitat is roadsides, fields, waste sites and woodland edges. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.
Leaves are alternate on the stem, consisting of a whole part, no leaf stalk but some colonies do produce long stalks. Basal leaves are pinnately divided; upper leaves have no teeth and no lobes; tapering to the tip with sides less than equal. Leaf base usually graduates to a narrow point.
Flowers are heads at the end of a stem; solitary or few flowered; symmetrical in shape; on long flower stalks. Disc flowers are bisexual; yellow; ray flowers are female and also yellow; tip is notched. Flowers occur in the spring.
Fruit is a seed which outer layer is fused to it.
This roadside beauty has lots of company; Garden, Field , Eared, White, Whorled, Pink and Swamp. Unfortunately it is difficult to find all blooming at the same time at the same place. The extreme coastal area is favored by the Garden Coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria) while the white and pink favor marshes or damp ditches where mud and water is apt to be constant (primarily Florida coastline). Eared, Lance-leaf, and Whorled seem to prefer open woods and do well where water starvation is a problem for other vegetation. Swamp is just what it says, deep swamps among thick underbrush where cypress stands and bog moss is prevalent.
The D.O.T. of Alabama, Florida and surrounding states are beginning to use this plant in wildflower plots; the most popular being the showy Garden and Lance-leaf. Whorled Coreopsis is often overlooked because it blooms alongside numerous other sunflowers and is often confused with Black-Eyed Susan. The swamp varieties would not survive in the well-drained wildflower plots along the highway system.
Lance-leaf Coreopsis is the state wildflower of Florida.