Coreopsis tinctoria Nutt.
Family - Asteraceae
Stems - To 1.5m tall, from fibrous roots, carinate, glabrous, herbaceous, typically single from base, branching above.
Leaves - Opposite. Lowest leaves petiolate, bipinnately divided. Ultimate divisions linear-oblanceolate to linear-oblong, entire, typically glabrous. Petioles and petiolules with some pubescence. Petioles to 8cm long. Upper leaves larger than lower. Ultimate divisions linear, glabrous with antrorse strigillose margins.
Inflorescence - Single flower head terminating stem branches. Peduncles to +6cm long.
Involucre - In two series. Outer series of phyllaries to 3mm long, 1.5mm broad. Phyllaries green, lanceolate, glabrous. Inner series of phyllaries to 8mm long, +/-3mm broad. Phyllaries dark brown-purple, glabrous, united at base for 1-2mm, abruptly bent and spreading near apex, acute.
Ray flowers - Flowers typically 8 per head. Ligule to 1.5cm long, 1cm broad, slightly tapering to base, shallowly lobed at apex with one larger central lobe and two smaller lateral lobes, yellow or yellow with a dark purple base. Achene flattened, 1.4mm long in flower, truncate at apex, white, broader than disk achenes. Pappus absent or a minute crown.
Disk flowers - Disk to 8mm broad, subglobose. Corolla tube to 3mm long, yellow-orange, deep purple at apex, 4-lobed, fertile. Style bifurcate, orange at apex, exserted. Achene 1.8mm long in flower, flattened, glabrous. Pappus absent or a minute crown.
Flowering - June - September.
Habitat - Glades, open rocky and sandy ground, roadsides, railroads.
Origin - Native to U.S.
Other info. - The plant pictured
above is C. tinctoria f. atropurpurea (Hook.)
Fern., which has the ray ligules with a deep purplish base. The ligules can also be almost completely purple (as seen above). C. tinctoria
f. tinctoria has ligules which are solid yellow.
Photographs taken in Springfield, MO., 7-5-03, and somewhere in Alabama, 6-20-04.