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Published In: Species Plantarum 2: 907. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/11/2017)
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67. Coreopsis L. (tickseed, coreopsis)

(Smith, 1976)

Plants annual or perennial herbs (shrubs elsewhere). Stems erect or ascending, unbranched or more commonly few- to numerous-branched, with several fine to coarse longitudinal lines or ridges, sometimes relatively strongly 4- or 5-angled, glabrous or sparsely to moderately pubescent. Leaves opposite and sometimes also basal, variously sessile to long-petiolate, the bases slightly expanded and wrapping around the stem. Leaf blades simple or 1 or 2 times pinnately or less commonly palmately lobed, dissected, or compound, variously shaped, the margins otherwise entire, glabrous or variously hairy, not glandular. Inflorescences of solitary terminal heads or appearing as loose, open clusters or panicles, the heads with long, bractless stalks or the stalk with 1 or 2 inconspicuous, minute bracts. Heads radiate. Involucre cup-shaped, the bracts in 2 dissimilar overlapping series. Involucral bracts fused at the base, those of the outer series (5–)8(–12), shorter and narrower than the others, ovate-triangular to narrowly triangular, tapered to the sharply pointed tip, green, sometimes reddish-tinged, the margins sometimes thin and white, often with spreading hairs, the surfaces glabrous (the outer surface sometimes sparsely to moderately hairy in C. tripteris), not glandular, usually inconspicuously 3-nerved; those of the inner series usually 8, oblong-elliptic to oblong-ovate, rounded or angled to a bluntly or less commonly sharply pointed tip, yellowish brown to yellowish green, sometimes reddish-tinged, more or less scalelike with usually broad, lighter, thinner margins, glabrous, not glandular, inconspicuously several-nerved. Receptacle flat or slightly convex, not elongating as the fruits mature, with chaffy bracts subtending the disc florets, these variously shaped, relatively flat, not or only slightly wrapped around the florets. Ray florets (5–)8, sterile (lacking stamens and style at flowering and with an ovary that is shorter and thinner than those of the disc florets, not developing into a fruit; pistillate elsewhere), the corolla showy, 12–30 mm long, relatively broad, yellow, or occasionally orangish yellow (usually with a reddish brown to brownish purple base in C. tinctoria), not persistent at fruiting. Disc florets 40–80(–150), perfect, the corolla yellow to orangish yellow or reddish purple, not thickened at the base, not persistent at fruiting. Style branches with the sterile tip slightly to moderately elongate and tapered to a bluntly or sharply pointed tip. Pappus of the disc florets of (1)2 short awn(s) (these smooth or with sparse, upward-angled barbs), sometimes reduced to a low rim or crown with 1 or 2 short teeth or absent, when present usually persistent at fruiting. Fruits 2–7 mm long, narrowly oblong to oblong-ovate or oblong-obovate in outline, strongly flattened, flat or more commonly the base and tip appearing curled or arched inward at maturity, more or less truncate at the tip, not beaked, the angles usually with slender to broad wings, the surfaces relatively flat to slightly convex and with a faint longitudinal angle, the inner face sometimes with a bulbous thickening at 1 or both ends, glabrous, sometimes appearing finely pebbled or with numerous small tubercles, dark brown to black with pale wings, often slightly shiny. About 140 species (depending on the generic circumscription), mainly North America, but also Central America, South America, Africa, Pacific Islands.

Several species of Coreopsis are cultivated as garden ornamentals and for cut flowers, and doubled cultivars with numerous ray florets have been developed for some of these species. The fruits also provide food for birds and small mammals. Some authors have noted that the genera Bidens and Coreopsis are difficult to separate morphologically (Sherff, 1955; Barkley, 1986). Recent molecular phylogenetic studies (Kimball and Crawford, 2004) also found that, as traditionally circumscribed, the two genera are not natural units. Further research undoubtedly will result in the revision of generic circumscriptions in the subtribe Coreopsidinae.


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1 1. Disc corollas mostly 4-lobed; ray corollas with a well-differentiated region of reddish brown to brownish purple toward the base, otherwise yellow; style branches with a short, bluntly pointed, sterile tip ... 5. C. TINCTORIA

Coreopsis tinctoria
2 1. Disc corollas 5-lobed; ray corollas lacking reddish brown or brownish purple color, uniformly yellow to orangish yellow; style branches with a sharply pointed, sterile tip

3 2. Ray corollas entire or with 2 or 3(4) minute teeth in the center of the otherwise more or less rounded tip; chaffy bracts more or less linear, with a slender base, sometimes slightly thickened toward the rounded or angled, bluntly to sharply pointed tip

4 3. Disc corollas yellow, sometimes with yellowish orange lobes; leaf blades 3-lobed from well above the base, the lobes sometimes lobed again but all of the ultimate segments narrowly oblong, more or less the same width throughout, sometimes very slightly narrowed toward the base ... 3. C. PALMATA

Coreopsis palmata
5 3. Disc corollas reddish purple, sometimes with a yellow tube; leaf blades deeply divided or compound from the base, the divisions or leaflets angled or tapered to a slender attachment point at the base ... 6. C. TRIPTERIS

Coreopsis tripteris
6 2. Ray corollas with 3–5 deep, sometimes irregular (appearing jagged) teeth or lobes around the tip; chaffy bracts narrowly triangular, long-tapered from an abruptly broadened, flat basal portion to a sharply pointed tip

7 4. Leaves confined to 1–3(–5) nodes (occasionally more in cultivated forms) mostly in the lower 1/2 of the plant ... 2. C. LANCEOLATA

Coreopsis lanceolata
8 4. Leaves at (5)6–12 nodes along usually 2/3 or more of the length of the stems

9 5. Leaf blades (except sometimes for the unlobed lowermost few stem leaves) mostly 1 or 2 times deeply pinnately or palmately divided into (3–)5–9 relatively slender, narrowly linear to narrowly lanceolate lobes or divisions ... 1. C. GRANDIFLORA

Coreopsis grandiflora
10 5. Leaf blades unlobed or 1 time deeply pinnately lobed with 1 or 2(3) relatively broad, lanceolate to ovate or elliptic lobes toward the base ... 4. C. PUBESCENS Coreopsis pubescens
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