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  • Writer's pictureJen Haynes

Oxeye Daisy

Oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) is a perennial that grows up to a metre tall. This invasive plant is native to Europe and parts of Western Asia. It came to Canada in seed mixes and as an ornamental. This is one of the plants that is the reason why you should be wary of wildflower seed mixes. Oxeye daisy flowers have white petals with a bright yellow center. They bloom from June to August. It spreads by both seed and roots. A single plant can produce up to 26,000 seeds. The seeds are viable 10 days after flowering begins. Most of these seeds will germinate in the first or second year but the seed can remain viable in the ground for up to 39 years. The plant has an unpleasant smell when crushed. It looks a bit like Shasta daisy and that is because Shasta daisies are a hybrid of four different daisies one of the hybrids being oxeye daisy. When people see a field of daisies, they often think what a beautiful field of wildflowers. Wildflowers are not necessarily native flowers. What is happening in that field is a lack of biodiversity. Those daisies could spread into cereal crops and reduce the crop yield. If there are lactating animals in that field and they eat the daisies their milk will taste “off”. The daisies also take away pollinators from our native plants. When an invasive species invades an ecosystem, it can affect everything. Everything is connected and when something changes it can create a domino effect. Nature is healthier when there is balance and diversity. Sometimes we must correct the imbalance. If you have an infestation of oxeye daisy you can control its spread in a couple of ways. There are no bio controls for oxeye daisy. Tilling, grubbing, and hand pulling are effective, but you must reseed with desirable species and keep up the treatment until the seed is depleted in the soil. Manual treatments may take longer to gain control because root fragments left in the ground can grow new shoots. Reseeding to create competition is very important. Selective herbicide is also effective. Generally selective herbicides kill broad leaf plants so if you choose this method you will need to reseed with grasses until the seed bank is depleted. You can add forbs once the herbicide is no longer viable in the soil. For more information on invasive plants and their treatment contact the Boundary Invasive Species Society,, 250-446-2232, and on Facebook.

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