Ox-eye daisy is a familiar and attractive grassland perennial and our largest native member of the daisy family. It has a medium tall un-branched stem topped by a solitary composite flower of white rays (petals) surrounding a yellow disc floret. Once you become familiar with them the basal leaves of Ox-eye daisy are quite distinctive with their toothed spoon shape and long leaf stalks. Flowers from May to September. Ox-eye daisy is also known as moon daisy or dog daisy and its old botanical name was Chrysanthemum leucanthemum.
Ox-eye daisy is a winter-green perennial found in meadows and moderately grazed pastures as well as waste ground, railway banks and road verges. It prefers, but is by no means restricted to, well drained, neutral to base rich soils but is absent from wet sites.
Because Ox-eye daisy is limited in its capacity for vegetative spread and is dependent on seed for regeneration it requires an open sward if its seedlings are to be successful. It therefore requires sites where potentially more dominant species are kept in check either through lack of soil fertility or by disturbance such as hay cutting or moderate grazing. The plants produce many seeds and these can germinate in both autumn and spring and can also remain viable in the soil for many years. As a consequence it is a ready colonizer of open and disturbed ground and is often present in large numbers in newly sown meadows. These numbers normally drop to a more acceptable level within the first few years, however if they continue to fall it may indicate that the meadow requires some additional disturbance. We would recommend scarifying the area after the hay cut has been removed.
The open flower heads of Ox-eye daisy attract a large range of pollinating insects particularly bees, butterflies and hoverflies.
Easily grown from seed sown any time of the year.