LEUCANTHEMUM

FAMILY: Asteraceae

TYPE
  • Annuals
  • Perennials
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Full Sun
WATER
  • Regular Water

Plant Details

Three species of these popular flowers were formerly listed under Chrysanthemum.

L. paludosum (Chrysanthemum paludosum, Mauranthemum paludosum). SWAMP CHRYSANTHEMUM. Annual, sometimes living over for a second bloom season. Zones US, MS, LS, CS, TS; USDA 6-11. In summer, this western Mediterranean native bears white daisies 11 in. wide on 8- to 10-in. stems above dark green, deeply toothed leaves. Flowers look like miniature Shasta daisies.

L. xsuperbum (Chrysanthemum maximum, C. xsuperbum, L. maximum). SHASTA DAISY. Perennial. Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9. Summer and fall bloomer. Original 2- to 4-ft.-tall Shasta daisy, with coarse, leathery leaves and gold-centered, white flower heads 24 in. across, has been largely superseded by types with larger, better-formed, longer-blooming flowers. These are available in single, double, quilled, and shaggy-flowered forms. All are white, but two show a touch of yellow. Some bloom from May to October. Shasta daisies are splendid in borders and cut arrangements.

Some of the selections available in garden centers include: 'Esther Read', most popular double white, long bloom; 'Marconi', large, frilly double; 'Aglaya', similar to 'Marconi', long blooming season; 'Wirral Supreme', double white with short white central petals; 'Alaska', big, old-fashioned single; 'Horace Read', 4-in.-wide dahlialike flower; 'Majestic', large, yellow-centered, single flower; 'Thomas Killin' ('T. E. Killin'), 6-in.-wide (largest), yellow-centered, double flower. 'Becky', a tall single selection with sturdy stems, is a popular Southern passalong plant known by several names, including 'July daisy,' 'Ryan's daisy,' and 'Becky's daisy.' 'Cobham's Gold' has distinctive flowers in a yellow-tinted, off-white shade. 'Canarybird', another yellow-toned selection, is a dwarf with attractive dark green foliage. Most popular selections for cut flowers are 'Esther Read', 'Majestic', 'Aglaya', and 'Thomas Killin'.

Shasta daisies are easy to grow from seed. Catalogs offer many strains, including Diener's Strain (double) and Roggli Super Giant (single). 'Marconi' (double), also available in seed, nearly always blooms double. 'Silver Princess' ('Little Princess', 'Little Miss Muffet') is a 12- to 15-in. dwarf single. 'Snow Lady' (single), an All-America winner, 1012 in. tall, begins to bloom in 5 months from seed, then blooms nearly continuously.

Set out divisions of Shasta daisies in fall or early spring; set out container-grown plants any time. These plants thrive in fairly rich, moist, well-drained soil. Prefer sun but do well in partial shade in Lower and Coastal South; double-flowered kinds hold up better in very light shade in all zones. Divide clumps every 2 or 3 years in early spring (or in fall in Lower and Coastal South). Shasta daisies are generally easy to grow but have a few problems. Gall disease causes the crown to split into many weak, poorly rooted growing points that soon die. Dig out and dispose of afflicted plants; don't replant Shasta daisies in the same spot.

L. vulgare (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum). OX-EYE DAISY, COMMON DAISY. Perennial. Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9. European native naturalized in many places. To 2 ft. high, 1 ft. wide, with bright green foliage and yellow-centered, 1- to 2-in. daisies from late spring through fall. 'May Queen' begins blooming in early spring. Spreads by rhizomes and seeds.

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