These beautiful summer blooms are most commonly known as ‘tickseeds’, but that seems way too gross for a nectar rich plant that is more commonly known for attracting butterflies – aka the supermodels of the insect world and a million miles from those abject little creatures clinging onto your pet dog at the end of every remotely adventurous walk.
In fact, even the proper name, coreopsis is annoying. It translates from the Greek for ‘bedbug’ (koris) and ‘view’ (opsis), meaning they bear resemblance to bed bugs. It says something about the psyche of Ancient Greeks that they could take a look at such sunny, joyous blooms and see nothing but itch-inducing insects in the fruits they produce. I guess in the context of snake-headed femme fatales and dysfunctional, perma-warring gods, a bedbug counts as light relief, perhaps?
Weirdly, considering the way 2017 is turning out, it’s the North Americans who are most capable of celebrating Coreopsis’ more obvious, vibrant qualities: the sunshine state of Florida has made this sunshine bloom its official flower, and it’s used exclusively across all of their roadside plantings and highway beautification programs.