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Oxeye Daisy

Species
Leucanthemum vulgare

Oxeye daisy has always been popular with gardeners for its cheerful, copiously produced daisy flowers and ability to grow under tough conditions. Plants are usually comprised of slender, unbranched stems that arise from creeping rhizomes. In northern areas where Shasta Daisy may be marginally winter hardy, Oxeye daisy has often been planted as a hardier alternative. It is still commonly sold in “wildflower mixes,” but it is highly invasive, having long escaped from ornamental and roadside plantings.  

How does it spread?
Oxeye daisy spreads aggressively by seed and creeping, underground stems. Over its lifetime, a single plant can potentially produce tens of thousands of wind-dispersed seeds.

Where would I find it?
Oxeye daisy tolerates a wide range of environmental conditions, including drought, and can be found in fields, open forests, roadsides and disturbed areas across the province. New invasions often occur from spread of seed along transportation corridors and waterways.  It may be mistaken for Shasta daisy (Chrysanthemum x superbum), a normally non-invasive clumping perennial with larger flowers. Shasta daisy and Oxeye Daisy are able to cross breed resulting in an invasive hybrid almost indistinguishable from either parent. Oxeye daisy is present nearly province-wide.

What problems does it cause?
Oxeye daisy can form dense infestations on rangeland and in pastures and replace native grasses and alter pasture productivity due to its disagreeable taste. Nearly half of ingested seeds remain viable after passing through a cow's digestive tract, and in soil, a high proportion of seed remains viable for several years. Oxeye daisy is host to multiple crop diseases, including yellow dwarf virus of potatoes. 

Additional Recommendations

  • White Wood Aster (Aster divaricatus) (z4)
  • Smooth Fleabane (Erigeron glabellus) BC native (z3)

A provincial initiative coordinated by ISCBC

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