If you love ‘Mercury Rising’ but need something smaller, try ‘Red Elf’. It has very similar deep burgundy red blossoms but on a much smaller plant that only grows about a foot wide. Its smaller bun-shaped habit helps it fit better into combination container plantings or smaller borders where it will provide a rich spot of color for months beginning in early summer.
Like ‘Mercury Rising’, its deep red petal tips become frosted with a touch of white during the hottest part of the season, returning to a solid deep red when temperatures moderate. Since the flowers are sterile, they just keep on coming all season long without the need for deadheading.
A midseason shearing will keep this plant looking its best all season, though it is highly disease resistant. The only Coreopsis of its kind available—don’t miss out!
If you’ve been pleased with the performance of Big Bang™ Coreopsis like ‘Mercury Rising’, you might also like to try the Li'l Bang™ series from the same breeder, master hybridizer Darrell Probst. These naturally compact cultivars exhibit the same great disease resistance and long bloom time (commencing a bit earlier than the Big Bangs) but measure in at about half the height. They are the perfect size for container gardening, rock gardens, and the front of the border.