En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Tuesday - June 19, 2012

From: Black Earth, WI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Plant Identification
Title: Identification of yellow flowers in Wisconsin
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We have plants near Madison, Wisconsin that some call lanceleaf coreoposis however I believe they are some type of invasive species. They have yellow flowers, seem to spread by seed. and don't grown in bunches but are individual plants. They put out plenty of seed. They re-bloom if dead headed. Can you tell me if there are plants that are not lanceleaf coreoposis but have blooms that are similar? If invasive I want to eliminate them as soon as possible.

ANSWER:

Coreopsis lanceolata (Lanceleaf coreopsis) grow in small clumps and are perennials.  The flowers themselves are on single stalks.  They will grow from seed.  Here is more information from Illinois Wildflowers and from Floridata.  You will see from the Floridata page that deadheading encourages more blooms on these plants.  They are often planted for roadside beautification projects.

There are other species of Coreopsis that grow in or near Dane County, Wisconsin:

Coreopsis grandiflora (Largeflower tickseed) is a perennial that self-sows and can become weedy.  The blossom look a lot like C. lanceolata, but is usually taller with different shaped leaves.  Here is more information from Illinois Wildflowers that gives you the differences between this plant and Coreopsis lanceolata.

Coreopsis palmata (Stiff tickseed) has ray flower petals that are more rounded on the end.   Here is more information from Illinois Wildflowers and from Michigan Natural Features Inventory.  It is considered a threatened species in Michigan.

Coreopsis tinctoria (Plains coreopsis) has maroon or red coloring around the central disk.

Coreopsis tripteris (Tall coreopsis) has round petal tips and brownish disk flowers.

Here is a list of invasive species from the Invasive Plants Association of Wisconsin (IPAW).  The IPAW defines an invasive plant as one that:  "both invades native plant communities and impacts those native communitities by displacing or replacing native vegetation."  None of the plants I could see on the lists look like a Coreopsis species.  The IPAW also has a Weedy and aggressive plant species native to Wisconsin list.  Their definition of a weedy plant is:  "A plant that establishes and invades only in seriously disturbed areas (especially in disturbed ground)."  From that list there is one native plant, Helenium autumnale (Common sneezeweed), that somewhat resembles C. lanceolata.  You might also like to check with the Wisconsin Botanical Club (dedicated to the native flora of Wisconsin) to see if they have any information about invasive plants of the Family Asteraceae (Aster Family) similar to Coreopsis lanceolata that have been found in your area.

Probably what you are seeing is either C. lanceolata or C. grandiflora, either of which are plants native to your area.  Even though they are native, they may be weedy or invasive according to your thinking.  If that is so, since neither of these is an endangered or threatened species, you could remove them if you wish.

 

From the Image Gallery


Lanceleaf coreopsis
Coreopsis lanceolata

Lanceleaf coreopsis
Coreopsis lanceolata

Largeflower tickseed
Coreopsis grandiflora

Largeflower tickseed
Coreopsis grandiflora

Stiff tickseed
Coreopsis palmata

Plains coreopsis
Coreopsis tinctoria

Common sneezeweed
Helenium autumnale

More Invasive Plants Questions

Covering dead arborvitae with non-native ivy from Niles MI
April 14, 2013 - I have a severely thinning arborvitae hedge. It is probably too shady, but I want the privacy. I'm thinking of planting something like ivy to fill the gaps. I know it will probably kill the hedge, bu...
view the full question and answer

When to plant non-native red-tip photinia
November 17, 2011 - When do you plant the Red-Tip Photinia Flowering Shrubs in Roanoke VA?
view the full question and answer

Is Early May OK for Roguing Bastard Cabbage?
March 28, 2013 - Hi Smarty:) I'm trying to determine the window for seed set for bastard cabbage. I'm hoping to get about 250 volunteers out to remove it but the date is schedule in early May. Judging by the infl...
view the full question and answer

How to get rid of Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum)
July 28, 2008 - We have an enormous stand of japanese polygonum that we are trying to get rid of. What soil type is the most inhospitable to this aggressive and highly invasive species? Were thinking of planting so...
view the full question and answer

What about Asian Jasmine and scrub oaks?
September 01, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have several clusters of native scrub oaks in my yard. I planted Asian jasmine under them many years ago. The trees look fine, but an arborist has told me that the Asian ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center