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Hotchkiss, CO 81419



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Oxeye daisy

Leucanthemum vulgare (formerly Chrysanthemum leucanthemum)


Keys to Identification

  • Oxeye daisy can be identified by its daisy-like flowers
  • Flowering heads are solitary at the ends of branches, have white ray flowers and yellow disk flowers and are about 2 in wide

This information courtesy of the Colorado Natural Areas Program


Family: Sunflower (Asteraceae)


Other Names: white daisy




Legal Status: Colorado Noxious Weed List B




Lifecycle: Perennial, short-lived


Growth form: Forb


Flower: Flowering heads are solitary at the ends of branches. Flowerheads have white ray flowers and yellow disk flowers.


Seeds/Fruit: Fruits have about 10 ribs


Leaves: Alternately arranged leaves become progressively smaller upward along the stem. Basal and lower stem leaves are 2-5 in long, lance-shaped to narrowly egg-shaped. The upper leaves become stalkless and toothed.


Stems: Mature plants are 10-24 in tall with erect, smooth to sparsely hairy stems.


Roots: The plants have shallow, branched rhizomes.


Seedling: No information available.



Similar Species

Exotics: Oxeye daisy is easily confused with the ornamental Shasta daisy (Chrysanthemum maximum), which is a more robust plant with larger flowers.


Natives: None known.




Agricultural: The plant is unpalatable to cattle; dense infestations can reduce cattle forage.


Ecological: Is capable of taking over and modifying natural areas, pasture and rangeland (Rutledge and McLendon, 1998), and may increase soil erosion compared to native plant communities (Olson and Wallander 1999)



Habitat and Distribution

General requirements: In Colorado, oxeye daisy is usually found at higher elevations in meadows, along roadsides, and in waste places. In many places this plant escaped from gardens and established in meadows, around mines and ghost towns in the mountains (Rutledge and McLendon, 1998).


Distribution: Widely distributed throughout the United States.


Historical: Escaped from cultivation as an ornamental.



Biology/ Ecology

Life cycle: Basal rosettes must experience a period of cold temperatures.


Mode of reproduction: Oxeye daisy reproduces by seeds and short rootstocks.


Seed production: A typical plant produces over 500 seeds.


Seed bank: Seeds can remain viable in the soil for at least 2-3 years and sometimes far longer (Rutledge and McLendon, 1998).





Olson, B.E. and R.T. Wallander. 1999. Oxeye daisy. In R.L. Sheley and J.K. Petroff , eds. Biology and Management of Noxious Rangeland Weeds. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, OR


Rutledge, C. R. and T. McLendon. No Year. An Assessment of Exotic Plant Species of Rocky Mountain National Park. Department of Rangeland Ecosystem Science, Colorado State University. 97pp. Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Home Page. [Version 15 Dec 98].


Whitson, T.D.(ed.), L.C. Burrill, S.A. Dewey, D.W. Cudney, B.E. Nelson, R.D. Lee, R. Parker. 1996. Oxeye daisy. Weeds of the West. Western Society of Weed Science, in cooperation with the Western United States Land Grant Universities Cooperative Extension Services, Newark, CA.



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