LEUCANTHEMUM: Shasta Daisy
Daisies are classic flowers in our culture and vocabulary. The white petals and yellow center of Shasta daisies inspired the typical daisy image. They have been cultivated in gardens for at least a century.
Leucanthemum vulgare, or Oxeye daisy, moved here from Europe and Asia and has rooted itself along road sides and fields through out the continental U.S. In the early 1900s Luther Burbank hybridized Leucanthemum maximum and L. lancustre to create the classic Leucanthemum x superbum, or Shasta daisy (named after Mt. Shasta).
Different varieties bloom at different times of the year. Early varieties generally bloom May through June. Where as mid and late varieties start in June and bloom into July or August. Many kinds can re-bloom in fall.
Over the years hybridizers have developed a varieties that grow to different heights, have different flower configurations, have yellow petals, and have reduced odor (this is a good thing).These flowers are perfect for bouquets, flower crowns, billowing cottage gardens, and perennial boarders and attract many pollinators. They pair wonderfully with Foxglove, Delphinium, Daylilies, Nepeta and ornamental grasses.
Some varieties you can find at Portland Nursery include:
Leucanthemum x superbum
A long-blooming semi-double variety with thin, spidery’ petals and yellow button center. It grows 18-24” tall and 24” wide.
Classic, single white daisies with a yellow center. Grows 2-3’ tall and 2’ wide. Hardy in zones 4-9
Large single flowers on sturdy stems bloom later than other varieties. Sturdy stems reach 3-4’ tall and generally don’t require staking. Zones 4-9.
Stunning 4” semi-double, butter yellow flowers fade to cream. Long lasting cut variety. Densely branched plants reach 15-18” tall and 24” wide.
Single light yellow flowers May to July and can re-bloom in fall. Grows 18-24” tall and 20-24” wide. Zones 5-9.
A newer compact, floriferous variety with single flowers. It grows 20-24” tall and wide.
A dwarf variety with loads of 2-3” single white daisies. Grows 6-8” tall and 6-10” wide Zones 8-11.
Double white flowers with pale yellow center mid to late bloom season. Grows 18-30”tall 24” wide.
A newer variety with rich yellow semi-double flowers. Darker yellow and longer blooming than other varieties. Grows 12-24” tall and wide.
A fully double, white Shasta daisy growing 24” tall and 18-24” wide. Zones 4-9
Developed by Terra Nova, this variety has huge, multi-layered white flowers without the classic stinky daisy scent! Plants are bred to re-bloom. Grows 16” tall 15” wide. Zones 5-8.
A new variety with unique anemone style white flowers that have reflexed white petals in the yellow center. Grows 36” tall 16”wide.
A dwarf variety with classic single flowers. Grows 10-14” tall and wide. Blooms May through June and repeats in fall. Zones 4-9.
A dwarf variety presented by Terra Nova with multiple layers of ruffled white petals. Very heat tolerant and odorless. Grows 14” tall and 20” wide.
Common Name: Shasta daisy, Ox-Eye daisy
Origin: Widely distributed in Europe and Northern Asia. There are 33 species in the genus.
Culture: Rich, moist, well-drained soil. Full to part sun (at least five hours of direct sun). Double varieties appreciate shade from the intense sun.
Maintenance: Low-maintenance and easy to grow. Shasta daisies should be divided every two to three years to avoid overcrowding of the crowns.
Some staking may be needed of taller varieties, or pinch back once or twice in April or May for sturdier (but smaller flowered) plants.
Dead head the first flush of flowers to encourage a second bloom. Tall varieties can be pinched back in April to avoid the need to stake plants later in the season.
Fertilize in spring with an all-purpose granular. Cut plans down to the green basal growth in fall when flowers have faded.
Pest and Disease: Potential pests include aphids, slugs and earwigs. Powdery mildew may also occur on foliage, but Shasta Daisies are generally trouble free.