Coreopsis 'Red Elf'
Common Name: tickseed 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: June to September
Bloom Description: Red with yellow center disks
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Drought, Dry Soil

Culture

Easily grown in dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Hardy from Zones 4-9. Tolerant of heat, humidity and some drought. Plants may be sheared in mid to late summer to promote a fall rebloom and to remove any sprawling or unkempt foliage. Plants will spread by rhizomes. Clumps may be divided in spring. When grown in borders or other formal garden areas, division may be needed every 2-3 years to maintain robustness.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Coreopsis is a genus of between 75-80 species from North America, Mexico, Central and South America.

The genus name comes from the Greek words koris meaning "bug" and opsis meaning "like" in reference to the shape of the seed which resembles a bug or tick.

'Red Elf' is a compact, red flowering selection of tickseed in the Lil Bang™ series developed by breeder Darrell Probst. The blooms (up to 2" in diameter) have deep burgundy-red petals surrounding bright yellow center disks, and are held on thin stems up to 12" above the narrow, lance-shaped foliage. Flowers continuously all summer and into fall, especially with deadheading. Attractive to butterflies and other insect pollinators. Can be used as a cut flower, although the thin stems may require the support of other flowers in a vase. This plant is protected by patent number PP27918.

Problems

Crown rot may occur if grown in moist, poorly drained soils. Uncommon diseases include botrytis, aster yellows, powdery mildew and fungal spots. Plant stems tend to sprawl, particularly in hot and humid climates with periodic heavy summer rainfall. Deer tend to avoid this plant.

'Red Elf' exhibits higher resistance to powdery mildew compared to other cultivars. Deer and rabbits tend to avoid this plant.

Uses

Border fronts, sidewalk edgings, or cottage gardens. Good plant for areas with poor, dry soils. Patio containers. 'Red Elf' does not set seed, and should not be expected to naturalize or self-seed in the garden.