Lance-Leaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata) Quick Facts:
Possible host plant to Silvery Checkerspot Butterflies, Nectar plant to Monarch, Buckeyes, and many more butterflies
Native to majority of US, except Rocky Mountains
Hardy in USDA zones 3-9
Prefers full sun
Prefers well-drained soil
Bright yellow flowers bloom spring through summer
Grows 1-3 feet tall
Space plants 12 inches apart
Propagated by seed
Lance-Leaf Coreopsis Plants for your Butterfly Garden
Catching the Compound Eyes of Butterflies
There’s lots to love about the Lance-leaf Coreopsis–it is a dependable native perennial that starts blooming fairly early in the spring and keeps the flower party going well into the summer, especially with regular deadheading. Coreopsis has few problems with insect pests or diseases and isn’t fussy about soil. Deer and rabbits tend to leave it alone, and it self-seeds readily, but not uncontrollably.
One of the most valuable traits of the Lance-leaf Coreopsis for the butterfly gardener is its exuberant growth. In time, you can expect a nice wide swath of cheery yellow blossoms. Because science has shown that butterflies look for large patches of bright color to alert them to nectar-rich locations, this plant is perfect for attracting them.
A Big Yellow Welcome Mat
Butterflies are initially drawn to the splash of bright yellow, but they soon discover that the “daisy-like” petals of the Lance-leaf Coreopsis flowers provide a great landing area from which to sip the plentiful nectar the plant produces. If a pollinator is in your neighborhood, chances are that you’ll find it on your Coreopsis sooner or later. Look for Buckeyes, Viceroys, Eastern Tailed-Blues, Spring Azures, Pearl Crescents, Orange Sulfurs, American Coppers, Red Admirals, Fritillaries, Painted Ladies, and Monarchs to be among those drawn to your plantings. The Lance-leaf Coreopsis may also serve as a larval host for Silvery Checkerspot Butterflies.
A Rewarding Project for the Kids!
Lance-leaf Coreopsis plants are one of the easiest plants to grow in the Butterfly Garden. It readily propagates from seed (you can stratify or simply press shallowly into the soil) and tends to be very forgiving of mistakes like overwatering, underwatering, and planting in poor soil. It will flower in its first year if set out early enough…which means, of course, order now!
The flowers are not too tall and not too small. 1 to 3 foot high erect stems are crowned with a single bloom about 1-inch across. The flowers are the familiar aster shape in a happy, bright yellow hue. Look for them growing wild on roadsides, on sandy banks, and in old fields. They also perform well as cut flowers and reliable, youthful sources have called them “fun to draw!”
Send a Message to Pollinators:
Let butterflies know that your garden is pollinator-friendly with a lovely patch of Lance-Leaf Coreopsis! This bright yellow flower has many names such as Sand Coreopsis, Longstalk Coreopsis, Coreopsis crassifolia, Coreopsis heterogyna, and Lanceleaf Tickseed. Whatever name you call the Lance-leaf Coreopsis, it will provide nectar-filled yellow beauties in your butterfly garden.
Please click here to see the details of the Lance-Leaf Coreopsis seeds…
Photos by Mack Hitch