Berlandiera lyrata
Common Name: chocolate flower
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Native Range: Southern United States, Mexico
Zone: 4 to 10
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to October
Bloom Description: Yellow rays with maroon brown center
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil

Culture

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates some light shade. Prefers slightly alkaline soils. Good tolerance for heat and drought. May produce more flowers with consistent moisture, but at the cost of stem-drooping. May self-seed in the garden. Easily grown from seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Berlandiera lyrata, commonly called chocolate flower (also known as lyreleaf green eyes) is native to dry sandy loams, rocky limestone soils, mesas, plains, grasslands and roadsides in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Mexico. It typically grows to 1-2' tall on branched, usually erect but sometimes decumbent stems, and features aromatic, night blooming, daisy-like flowers (1-2" diameter) with yellow rays, maroon-brown center discs and green cup-like bracts. Flowers appear on leafless stems. Yellow rays have red veins (sometimes entirely red) on the reverse side. Leaves are deep green above and whitish below, with irregular pinnate lobes. Flowers bloom at night from late spring to frost, but in frost free areas will bloom year round. Flowers smell like chocolate, with the aroma being most noticeable in early to mid-morning before the petals close up or drop.

Genus name honors Jean-Louis Berlandier (1805-1851), French-Swiss botanist and physician, who collected plants in Texas and Mexico in the early 1800s.

Specific epithet means lyre-like in reference to the leaf shape.

Common name of lyreleaf green eyes is in reference to (1) pinnate deeply-lobed leaf has lyre-like curves and (2) once the yellow flower petals drop, the remaining stiff cupped green calyces surrounding the center disk resemble a green eye.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Root rot may occur in overly moist soils.

Garden Uses

Perennial border. Wildflower meadow. Naturalized areas. Edger for informal situations.