Backyard Tall Coreopsis flowers - 2013
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Peak bloom for our backyard tall coreops is now (Aug 30, 2013). They've been looking great for the past two weeks, and especially over the past seven days.
Huge expansion of the tall coreopsis in our backyard this summer for some reason. Back in May, I snipped out a lot of goldenrod and phlox. Maybe that made room.
We have other Oak Openings native plants growing too, but for some reason and surprisingly, the tall coreopsis spread a lot from last fall's seeds.
I like it. It's one of my favorite flowers.
This year, several stalks grew to at least seven feet tall, and a few dozen stalks grew to at least six feet tall. And then several dozen more stalks are in the four to six foot range.It's a crowded flower bed. Cramped. English garden-style, I guess.
The tall coreopsis possess thin stalks, narrow leaves, and small flowers about the size of a quarter to a half dollar coin. Like many Oak Openings native plants, the tall coreopsis is an elegant plant.
The tall coreopsis flower petals are colored a light yellow, somewhere between lemon yellow and a cadmium yellow. The yellow is lighter than the yellow on the black-eyed susans.
The centers of the tall coreopsis are colored dark brown. Even the seven foot-plus stalks are thin. The stalks grew straight all summer until the blooms began to form and open.
With the weight of the flowers, some recent heavy rains, and the lack of sun in our backyard, the tall coreopsis stalks have obtained a noticeable lean toward the east.
Our yard is significantly shaded by numerous oak trees. Our backyard only gets about four hours of sunshine from approximately 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Hence, the lean toward the east and the morning sunshine or the open sky.
A couple recent brief but heavy rains knock the stalks way over, but after a day or so of dry weather, the stalks spring back up but maybe not back to the position before the rain.
With more flowers, wind, and rain, the stalks seam to lean a bit more to the east each day or so.
It's a fireworks explosion of blooms. A giant bouquet. Very colorful with the yellow and the medium to dark green color of the stalks and leaves.
I've taken many photos over the past two weeks or so, but it seems the photos don't capture the color well enough. The flowers look great through the windows from inside the house, such as the kitchen window and the hallway window.
Directly outside the kitchen window are the sawtooth sunflowers, which began blooming two days ago. It's a small area of sawtooth sunflowers, and then it's the tall coreopsis show.
Other OO natives in our backyard include: purple coneflowers, bee balm, swamp milkweek, western sunflower, smooth blue aster, and big blue stem.
Maybe the nearly eight inches of rain from late June and into July spurred the growth. This year, it's the tallest that I've seen the big blue stem stalks, with one at least seven feet tall. One swamp milkweed stalk grew to at least five feet tall, which is the tallest that I've seen for that plant in our yard.
We planted our first OO natives in the fall of 2003. We added more in the spring of 2004. Then DD added a few more plants in 2009 or so.
In 2003/2004, I planted one small tall coreopsis plant. In 2009, DD added two more plants. They have spread well.
At least four bee species are visiting the tall coreopsis flowers: bumble bee, honey bee, and I need to research the other two species.
When the wind is calm during the daytime, the flowers bob up and down from all the bee activity. It's not a rigid flower head structure like with the swamp milkweed. The tall coreopsis flowers move easily.
The legs of the bees are loaded with the orange blobs of the collected pollen. One orange blob on each leg. It's comical. The bees are working hard. The most numerous bee appears to be the bumble bee.
In my opinion, the big batch of blooming tall coreopsis is an impressive site for our tiny, urban backyard. I couldn't count the number of stalks. Hundreds of stalks producing thousands of flowers.
Some flowers are past peak. The petals have fallen. But more blooms have not opened yet. So the show should continue for a while yet, but I'm guessing the peak or maximum bloom is now.
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