Mark Leonard

Mark Leonard discovered Coreopsis rosea ‘Sweet Dreams’ at his retail nursery near Sacramento, California, USA. Among a whole bed of Coreopsis, he spotted an unusual flower. It grew twice the size of the others with white-tipped petals and a dark raspberry-colored eye. Amazingly, it was just a single stem growing on one of the plants.

The stunning bicolored flowers bloom in late spring to midsummer. As the summer progresses and light and temperatures rise, the raspberry color spreads further out on the ray petals, in a slowly changing pattern.

From this humble beginning, Coreopsis rosea ‘Sweet Dreams’ was introduced to market in North America. Afterwards, it made its international debut at the famous Chelsea Flower Show in London in 2000. It went on to receive a Silver Medal in 2005 at The Plantarium trade show in the Netherlands. Later, it received the University of Georgia (USA) Classic City Garden Award.

Based on its performance in the university trials, Allan Armitage said, “This Coreopsis obviously did not get the memo that this type does not traditionally grow well in Georgia’s climate. Every single week, plants were full of blooms. We kept expecting it to be done by July, but were amazed to see its endurance well into October, still stunning us by producing numerous blooms.”