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Leucanthemum (lew-CAN-theh-mum)

Common Name:  Shasta daisy, chrysanthemum

Light:  - Full sun to part shade

Soil:  Average to loamy, well-drained

Moisture:  Average to slightly dry in summer, dry in winter

Blooms:  Summer

Zones:  (4) 5 - 8

Leucanthemum 'Little Princess'

Leucanthemum 'Sonnenschein'

Leucanthemum Description and Cultural Information

Formerly known as Chrysanthemum, the genus Chrysanthemum was separated into several unique genus in 1961. Although it has switched back and forth over the years, today the individual genus are commonly used in botanical nomenclature. The "correct" genus for these common garden plants are:

Dendranthema - garden mums
Leucanthemum - oxeye daisies, shasta daisies
Tanacetum - feverfew, painted daisies, tansy

Leucanthemum x superbum, shasta daisy. (24 - 36"). The shasta daisies are a mainstay for the summer garden with white flowers and yellow centers. They bloom for a month or so and make excellent cut flowers. 'Alaska' is a tall, hearty variety with large single white flowers. 'Aglaya' ('Aglaia') is a little more compact with semi-double white flowers. 'Summer Snowball' is a fully double variety that is very attractive but often needs staking. 'Little Princess' is a wonderful compact variety growing about 12" tall. 'Sonnenschein' ('Sunshine') is a unique yellow flowering daisy that starts out light yellow and ages to cream as the flowers age. Zones vary a bit by cultivar, but most are hardy in zones 5 - 8.

How to Grow:  Plant Leucanthemum in any average to loamy, well-drained soil in full sun. Avoid waterlogged or overly rich soils and shasta daisies will tolerate dry, sandy soils once established. If the soil is too rich or if they get too much fertilizer they may have a tendency to flop over. Divide plants in spring if they die out in the center. Some varieties will self seed profusely.

Landscape uses:  Use summer blooming daisies with daylilies, yarrows, Echinacea, Rudbeckia, hardy geranium and Liatris. Because they have a tendency to self seed they are best in the informal cottage garden or meadow garden.

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