There are many daisies and daisy cousins that we can grow in Central Texas with very little effort. Here are a few blooming in my garden right now.
The Oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)
is considered a weedy, invasive pest in some U.S. States, but in my garden it's a reliable, drought tolerant perennial. It reseeds a little, but the volunteers are easy to weed out or save for transplanting. The plants form a shrubby little mound about a foot tall and the bright, sunny flowers are borne on long stems that reach for the sun.
The Shasta daisy (Chrysanthemum maximum)was introduced by Luther Burbank in the early 1900's. He started with the Oxeye daisy and cross-pollinated it with other daisies before finally coming up with the perfect daisy. The numerous white petals and perfect little yellow button centers form the quintessential daisy on precisely upright stems. Luther knew his stuff.
The Blackfoot daisy (Melampodium leucanthum) is a tough native Texas perennial that doesn't like to be babied. The daisies might be tiny, but they are tenacious. Grow the Blackfoot daisy in rock gardens or on edges of hot sunny borders.
The Copper Canyon daisy (Tegetes lemmonii) is a perennial shrub that blooms in the spring and the fall in response to the shortened day length. This plant can get tall and rangy, so give it some space to spread out.
Dahlberg daisy (Thymophylla tenuiloba) is a new addition to my garden. I'm just getting to know this plant, which was recently given to me by Jenny at Rock Rose. It's diminutive, yellow daisies and fern-like, airy foliage make it an excellent addition to the front of my mixed border.
Four-Nerve daisy (Tetraneuris scaposa) has been in my garden for as long as I can remember. This is one tough little plant of about 4-6 inches tall. The little yellow daisies are held up on stems that are almost invisible, giving the flowers the appearance of floating just above the foliage.
The Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) is a daisy relative that I love. I haven't always had the best success with this plant, but this year I was rewarded with Coneflower seedling volunteers that I am nursing along until the day I can transplant them to a new spot.
Still flush with my Coneflower success, I recently jumped at the opportunity to buy this unusual orange variety. I planted it in a sunny bed with a back drop of Bamboo Muhly and common Artemisia just in time to take advantage of the recent rainfall.
Would you like a pocketful of sunshine on a rainy day? Plant some daisies. They're guaranteed to make you smile.