Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Friday, May 9, 2008

He loves me, He loves me not



Spring flowering Ox Eye Daisy Leucanthemum vulgare. A member of the Aster family (Asteraceae) has made a place for herself at Clay and Limestone. She isn't as voluptuous as her cultivar offspring, but who cares. Each spring she lights up her corner of the garden and delights butterflies and bees.





Isn't she lovely, isn't she wonderful....Ox-Eye are introduced Eurasian natives that have successfully naturalized. Doesn't Ox-Eye look very similar to her larger cultivar Shasta Daisy?



Ox-Eye Daisy has a classic daisy form. "He loves me, he loves me not" while sitting in the grass, classic form! I couldn't pluck those pretty rays. Now tell the truth...could you?


For all her prettiness, she is a rugged plant and can form large colonies. She is equally happy in full sun or light shade. Ox-eye is a hard working gal; her nectar and pollen attracts skippers and smaller butterflies, beetles, small bees, flies and even wasps. Some moths and caterpillars even feed on her foliage. Livestock have been known to munch on her..."transpooping" the still viable seed to new areas in the field. Which may explain why this plant is so successful at naturalizing.


Another Daisy at Clay and Limestone is Western Daisy (Astranthium integrifolium).

She is lovely with her bluish/pinkish tinted rays and yellow face. A perfect small flower for a little girl's tea parties or for tiny little vases.



Western Daisy is a resident of the lawn at Clay and Limestone. I'm not sure when she moved in, but she is more than welcome to stay. I promise you, she is in there along with Lyre Leaf Sage and a few other beloved 'weeds".

So sorry this is blurry, but it 'clearly' shows her pinkish hues.




In full sun she really shines and has a greater presence.... Western Daisy's an annual so I don't mow, but let her go to seed each summer... I always want this flower to feel welcome.

There isn't much written about Western Daisy, most people would consider her a weed in their lawn, but I love the sweet flower and the spot of color she provides. It doesn't hurt that she provides nectar to small butterflies and is so easy to care for...two fine qualities in a plant. I've never tried to collect seeds...preferring to transplant her to other parts of the lawn.

Is she is your lawn?

Gail

24 comments:

  1. Love the Ox Eye Daises, they've colonized throughout my perennial flower beds. Some of them are going to get weeded out. Sadly, no daisies in the lawn, but I would welcome them if they did show up.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

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  2. carol,

    If I have success with the seed collecting, which I am thinking is worth a try, would you want some?

    Gail

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  3. I can understand why you wouldn't want to mow these down! I've tried without success to grow shasta daisies twice; not sure what I am doing wrong,since they're supposed to be easy to grow here. The ox-eyed daisies sound like a possibility. How big do they get?

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  4. I wouldn't mow down those "weeds" either! They are very lovely. I'm waiting for some wildflower weeds to start sprouting up over here. No flower heads yet. None of my "weeds" last year were daisies either, but they sure are lovely!

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  5. Ox Eyes are abundant here in fields and along roadsides. I think they're delightful! They have pretty, smiling faces...and they must love you to grow so happily there, so don't bother to pluck. :-)

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  6. How could anyone resist plucking those daisy petals?

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  7. rose,
    Shasta won't grow here but I can't kill the Ox- Eye...I found her growing behind a soon to be demolished building and brought her home about 10 years ago!

    Gail

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  10. Hi Gail, we share your love of the ox eye. It is a work horse, grows literally anywhere and is evergreen to boot. Some get pulled out but there is always plenty. I think they make the other colors look better, especially the blues, salvias, veronicas and mystery plants. ;->

    Frances

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  11. I love theses daisies. They are so cheerful. If I had any lawn, I would add some. Just noticed you have 'Noah's Garden' in your sidebar of favourite books. I'm reading it now - a good read.

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  12. cinj,

    If it would grow up north I would send you some for your lawn, they are sweet and Peanut would love them.

    Gail

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  13. nancy,
    I grew out of plucking although they are tempting. I like their smiling faces, too.

    Gail

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  14. Tina,

    No never will we pluck a petal!

    Frances,

    I think they are just the sunniest flower and they even stand up to our heavy rain showers...They do indeed look good with the blues...That Campanula with the veronica/salvia leaves is beautiful and would look good in my garden, once we all know which cultivar of what it really is!

    Gail

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  15. Kate,

    My goal is to have the kind of lawn that is all lawn substitute and the Daisy helps me move toward the goal...I loved reading Noah's Garden. Planting Noah's Garden is another book I have read. The natural garden world lost a wonderful voice when Sara Stein lost her battle with cancer.

    Gail

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  16. Hi gail, I don't have a single daisy in my garden. sigh. So I am really enjoying yours... I adore the way your meadow grows.
    meems @Hoe&Shovel

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  17. meems,

    Thank you...I like the meadow, too. Don't Daisy's like Florida?

    Gail

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  18. Gail, I am not sure about your question. I will have to do some research about your Ox Eyes & Western Daisy to see if they grow wild here. I do see some daisies (annuals)in the garden centers but never have paid too much attention to them being that they are annuals... I try to stick with perennials as much as possible. the way you have featured yours in this post makes me think a little differently about daisies. :-)

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  19. meems,

    I love finding out about plants...
    Just recently, I've begun to use some annuals. My guess it that some of the annuals used here are perennials in your zone! Lantanas and some salvias? Moving to Florida would mean a serious adjustment in one's garden thinking and knowledge.

    Gail

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  20. She is not in my lawn but all over the fields and she is a tough cookie. I also love her intricate foliage. The cultivars may die out but she stands tough. What child doesn't love a daisy... or the child within!?

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  21. layanee,

    My mother's rougher generation members would call her a tough old broad, I can hear Frank Sinatra say that as I type! She belongs here and fits in the natural garden...and she does look pretty on the sides of the road. I do hope that all gardeners let their child within out to play in their gardens.

    Gail

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  22. Love Oxeye Daisies.

    Haven't managed them in my garden, for some reason.

    This is odd and annoying because in some places, locally, they grow wild at the road sides.

    Never tire of them.

    Esther in the Garden
    ESTHER IN THE GARDEN

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  23. Esther,

    It's an odd daisy and sometimes doesn't like soil that is too rich, which may explain why it is happy in my terrible soil! I have no luck with Shasta; maybe you need to liberate a big hunk from a construction site!

    Gail

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  24. Transpooping?!? Now that's a word that's going to stick in my mind for a long time. Thanks for the laugh! I love those daisies, they are such happy flowers.

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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