Oxeye daisy (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum) is a Priority 2B listed noxious weed in the state of Montana. Priority 2B species are noxious weeds that are abundant in Montana and widespread in many counties. Management criteria for these species include eradication or containment where these species are less abundant.
Oxeye daisy is native to Europe and the temperate regions of Asia. The unopened flower buds of this plant are similar in taste to a Mediterranean food called capers, which are often marinated and eaten.
This plant is very versatile and can thrive in various habitats such as meadows, pastures, woodlands, along irrigation ditches, roadsides, as well as disturbed areas such as hay fields, lawns, and gardens.
This plant has a shallow root system with branched rhizomes capable of growing new plants. Oxeye daisy plants grow up to 3’ in height; the dark green smooth stem is mostly unbranched. Basal leaves situated at the base of the plant and lower leaves of the plant are 2″ to 5″ long and are widest at the tip; these leaves occur on long narrow stalks and have rounded teeth. Leaves that occur toward the stem apex are smaller in size; these leaves are toothed and do not grown on a long stalk.
Oxeye daisy flowers from June to August. Flowers are 1″ to 2″ in diameter, with each stem producing a flower. The flower head itself consists of about 20 white ray florets that encircle a depressed yellow disc shaped center. After pollination, flower heads produce tiny, flat, black, ribbed seeds that can remain viable in the soil for up to 3 years. A single oxeye daisy plant can produce up to 500 seeds.
Oxeye daisy is still being sold in wildflower seed mix packages, so be sure to check the label for contents of wildflower seed mixes for this invasive, state listed noxious weed before you plant it.
Oxeye daisy is difficult to control because it reproduces through both seed and rhizomes. It can be controlled by various integrated weed management techniques such as herbicides, hand pulling and cultivation. Often control measures are most successful by using a combination of integrated weed management control methods.