A perennial herb with few branches, providing spectacular displays in summer. Flowerheads are large, to 2 inches across, with white ray florets and a yellow disk. Blooms May–August. Basal leaves on petioles (leaf stalks), spoon-shaped, and lobed. Upper leaves sessile (stalkless), with blunt, toothlike lobes.
Leucanthemum vulgare (formerly Chrysanthemum leucanthemum)
Height: stems to 3 feet.
Where To Find
Occurs in fields and pastures, upland prairies, glades, fencerows, roadsides, and other open, disturbed areas. This plant is not native to North America; it was introduced long ago from Eurasia. Although it is a beautiful wildflower, land managers in many states, particularly in the East and Midwest, consider it a problem invasive exotic species. When upland prairies are hayed annually, it seems to increase in abundance. Frequent prescribed burns tend to decrease its populations.
In the garden, ox-eye daisy can be an aggressive colonizer that escapes readily. Relatives of this species include hybrids developed for garden use. One of these is the popular Shasta daisy, a hybrid created from two other species of Leucanthemum.
Many plants have been introduced to North America from Eurasia besides this one. Others include dandelion, shepherd's purse, salsify, and henbit. Many of these plants have been in America so long we can hardly imagine our landscapes without them.
About Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Nonwoody Plants in Missouri
A very simple way of thinking about the green world is to divide the vascular plants into two groups: woody and nonwoody (or herbaceous). But this is an artificial division; many plant families include some species that are woody and some that are not. The diversity of nonwoody vascular plants is staggering! Think of all the ferns, grasses, sedges, lilies, peas, sunflowers, nightshades, milkweeds, mustards, mints, and mallows — weeds and wildflowers — and many more!