Bellis perennis

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 2 Professionals
Common Name: English daisy
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Native Range: Southwestern Eurasia
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Spread: 0.25 to 0.75 feet
Bloom Time: May to July
Bloom Description: White rays with yellow center
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual, Herb, Naturalize
Flower: Showy

Culture

Easily grown in organically rich, fertile, consistently moist, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Plants prefer part shade in southern areas with hot summers. Plants are intolerant of drought. Although English daisy is a perennial, it is typically grown for ornamental purposes as a biennial in the South or as an annual in the North, with plants being dug up and thrown away after bloom. It is usually grown from seed. In the South (including St. Louis), seed is planted in fall or indoors in winter for bloom the following spring. By the heat of the summer, plants decline to the point where removal becomes appropriate. In the North, seed is planted in early spring for bloom in summer. In cool summer conditions (USDA Zones 4-5 and the West Coast), plants may spread aggressively by spreading crowns and self-seeding.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Depending in large part on geographical location, English daisy has a varied reputation, ranging from attractive low-spreading ornamental flower to common (sometimes detested) weed of lawns, fields and abandoned areas. Each plant features a sprawling, flattened rosette of small, spatula-shaped, dark green leaves to 1-2” tall. Daisies (to 2” diameter) with white rays and yellow centers bloom on pubescent stems rising to 3-6” tall. Young leaves may be eaten raw in salads or cooked. In the St. Louis area, plants are not considered to be lawn weeds, with best bloom occurring in spring when the mornings are cool. Plants typically burn out with summer heat. Native to Europe, this plant has escaped gardens and naturalized in parts of the northern U. S. and West Coast. From Latin, bellis means beautiful and perennis means lasting through the year.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. In cool summer areas, plants can spread and difficult to eradicate once established.

Garden Uses

In cool summer locations, English daisy has a number of different uses including beds, border fronts, rock gardens and wild flower areas where it may be naturalized without concern of spread. Also effective as a ground cover, edger or companion to spring bulbs. Excellent in containers.