Five or six years ago, at the end of the summer, I picked up several small packets of mixed wildflower seeds for 20¢ each at a local home improvement store. They were cheap seeds to begin with, but had been marked way down at the end of the season. I went home and tossed the seeds into a few flowerbeds, figuring that if even a few came up I’d be happy. By the next spring I’d completely forgotten that I’d planted them, until some straggly looking foliage started growing. Eventually buds formed and flowers bloomed. Not sure what they were, I googled around and finally discovered they were Plains Coreopsis. They’ve been in my flowerbeds ever since, dropping enough seeds each autumn to fill the beds with blooming color the following summer.
Over the years new colors have emerged among these flowers. My original planting of Coreopsis had petals almost evenly divided between maroon and yellow. In some cases the maroon of the petals has crept up so far that only a thin edging of yellow is visible. Other flowers are completely yellow. Some bloom completely red. On others the two colors seem to blend together, as if painted on with a brush. I’m not certain of the reason for the emergence of so many different hues. Perhaps I had a few red flowers to begin with and just never noticed them, and the others are a result of cross pollination. Or perhaps the colors have just degraded as the years have gone by. I don’t know. If anyone else has the answer I wish they’d tell me! I love these flowers — they create an ocean of color in my flowerbeds and they’re Texas natives. What more could one ask for?