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?