Now how melodramatic is that title? But seriously, there are those with this precise sentiment. There are a lot of daisies in the world and that seems to be the main problem with those of such extreme view. It is almost similar to that of the poor maligned dandelion and for the same reasons, serious numbers of them where they are not native.
“That’s an invasive! You can’t have that plant here.” “The wildflower may be pretty, but it’s going to ruin a habitat!” “It’s not native so get it out of here!” A little rhetoric and grandstanding is a dangerous thing, no? How about a few pretty photos? Don’t let them fool you, there are serious considerations.
Some plants are truly noxious weeds and you can find them listed on the USDA Federal Noxious Weed List. On the heels of my post noting the mentality to kill everything that moves in a garden, there is the same feeling on indiscriminately killing plants feeding those that move.
Other plants are considered State Prohibited Wildflower Seed Species. Oxeye Daisy Chrysanthemum leucanthemum is prohibited in the States of Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Washington, Wyoming, and West Virginia. I am beginning to wonder how shamelessly controlled nature is getting?
If your state prohibits Oxeye Daisy, and you love the summery look of daisies in your landscape, plant Shasta Daisy, Chrysanthemum maximum, which is not prohibited anywhere in the U.S. to my knowledge. It is a bit less hardy and invasive, yet it is still on the radar of many purists.
Even the English Daisy Bellis perennis L., in this post is considered a weed in some places, like Ontario and British Columbia. I have the pretty ones you see here in pots, so none should be escaping to Canada.
“With origins in Europe and introduction in the 1800s, it’s easy to see why people believe oxeye daisy is a native wildflower. Oxeye daisy is actually an out-of-control perennial, considered regionally noxious under the BC Weed Control Act. Invasive plants grow rapidly and spread quickly, causing damage to the environment, economy and our health. They are also the second greatest threat to biodiversity after habitat loss, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).” (source) BC considers this a noxious weed.
It is almost futile to try to ban all nonnative plants. It becomes more and more apparent when one sees how many plants actually are nonnative to an area, yet are adored by bees and insects. The attention should be placed on plants that are truly invasive, whether they’re immigrants or natives.
And yes, some native plants become invasive, but what should we do about them? Listen to the silliness of some, or let nature procure an answer itself? And how do you think that occurs?
Succession and sustainability, the great equalizer. Use nature as a guide. Succession will produce the next layer in the landscape, meaning the taller plants come in to shade out the smaller ones. That often can work anywhere you add plants of disproportionate size. Simple as Looking at Your Own Garden.
Natives, such as the goldenrod and cattails are much more invasive than many of the exotics being looked at in removal studies. Introduce goldenrod into your meadow and you will see how fast the meadow becomes all goldenrod. It’s a beautiful native wildflower, but unless controlled, it can become the only wildflower in the garden. I have it in my garden, Solidago, Golden Baby because insects love it, but I am cognizant of its ability to mass produce.
Would succession work here? Sure in time, but the understory trees and shrubs are what moves in.
Just take a look at these images if you don’t believe its power of procreation of goldenrod.
Plants that are invasive pest species grow very rapidly in the wild. Kudzu, Water hyacinth, Buckthorn, Giant hogweed, and Purple Loosestrife come to mind, and I am not even certain they all appear on the list above as even noxious. But what is a meadow without daisies?
Shasta daisy is a good alternative to Oxeye daisy if you want to bring nature back to your garden with wildflowers. It is a much more behaved plant and not as winter tolerant as Oxeye.
Some wildflower mixes include Oxeye, so one should be careful in purchasing. Cheaper mixes will include them. Like the photography in this post, the colorful photos on the seed packages often entice people into purchasing seeds that are native elsewhere.
Oxeye daisy plants aggressively reproduce by both seed and underground rhizomes. A single plant produces approximately 25,000 seeds. Honestly, I like seeing them in fields, but do know they spread rapidly.
They are so common, they have become “native” in many regions just like the dandelion and Queen Anne’s Lace. They also are a food source for bees and insects. So what does one do? Be my guest and cull them, but realize it is almost futile.