Leucanthemum vulgare, the ox-eye daisy, or oxeye daisy, is a widespread flowering plant native to Europe and the temperate regions of Asia and an introduced plant to North America, Australia and New Zealand. It is one of a number of family Asteraceae plants to be called a "daisy", and has the additional vernacular names common daisy, dog daisy and moon daisy.
This plant was top-ranked for pollen production per floral unit sampled at the level of the entire capitulum, with a value of 15.9 ± 2μl, in a UK study of meadow flowers. The corn poppy, Papaver rhoeas, was top-ranked for the per flower rate at 13.3 ± 2.8μl.
L. vulgare blooms from late spring to autumn. The small flower head, not larger than 5 centimetres (2.0 in), consists of about 20 white ray florets that surround a yellow disc, growing on the end of 1 to 3 ft (30 to 91 cm) tall stems. The plant produces an abundant number of flat seeds, without pappus, that remain viable in the soil for 2 to 3 years. It also spreads vegetatively by rhizomes.
Capitulum of L. vulgare from below, showing the involucral bracts.
Leucanthemum vulgare is widely cultivated and available as a perennial flowering ornamental plant for gardens and designed meadow landscapes. It thrives in a wide range of conditions and can grow in sun to partial shade, and prefers damp soils. There are cultivars, such as 'May Queen' which begins blooming in early spring.
Leucanthemum vulgare became an introduced species via gardens into natural areas in parts of Canada, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand (where it is now a common weed). In some habitats it is an invasive species forming dense colonies displacing native plants and modifying existing communities, and is classified as a noxious weed.
It commonly invades lawns, and is difficult to control or eradicate, since a new plant can regenerate from rhizome fragments and is a problem in pastures where beef and dairy cattle graze, as usually they will not eat it, thus enabling it to spread.
Infestation in native pasture near Guyra in Australia
Ox-eye daisy is a host for several viral diseases affecting crops.
- Bellis perennis – common daisy
- Buphthalmum salicifolium – yellow ox-eye daisy
- Argyranthemum frutescens – marguerite daisy
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