Friday, October 26, 2012

Not yet Native of the Week: English Daisy

A nymphal ('larval') Tarnished Plant Bug on an English Daisy
In south eastern Australia, the English Daisy Bellis perennis L. is very common, so common that without knowing its origin, one might think it native. Like the Dandelion, the English Daisy is low growing and rather impervious to lawn mowers. Hence another common name is Lawn Daisy (aka Lawndaisy). However, it does very well in national parks that have been over-grazed by too many kangaroos too. Although weedy in Australia and naturalized in much of North America, it is rather pretty and not especially noxious unless one is very much the purist about their flora. 
Overbred and not hardy, but nice
The wild forms quickly revert to a plain white daisy, but numerous often very attractive horticultural forms are available at nurseries and they bloom for a long time. Summer before last we succumbed to some of these attractions, although knowing of the daisy's weedy potential. Fortunately, a rather mild central Alberta winter proved too much for these well-bred daisies and nothing re-sprouted in the spring. I suppose that means we could try again next summer and enjoy a few months of pretty blooms without worrying about letting loose a weed. Well, assuming no hardy genes showed up.
The nymphs of bugs slowly develop their wings, moult by moult

1 comment:

  1. That's a great shot of the tarnished plant bug, showing up well against the yellow of the daisy.

    Although I never planted any, I always have a couple of these daisies pop up in my garden each year. Fortunately, they choose the perfect spot in one garden bed that has a vaguely cottage garden look, so they fit right in. I usually let them flower for a while, and pull them before they set seed, but that doesn't stop them from sending in a few troops the next summer. A few white daisies winding between the peony, iris and Campanula can be endearing.