Berlandiera lyrata 'Mora County Mix'
Common Name: chocolate flower 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.75 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to frost
Bloom Description: Yellow with green bracts
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Attracts: Birds, Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Clay Soil, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil


Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates some light shade. Prefers slightly alkaline, sandy or gravely soils. Good tolerance for heat and drought. May produce more flowers with consistent moisture, but at the cost of stem-drooping. Division is not recommended due to the long taproot which gives this species its drought tolerance. May self-seed in the garden. Easily grown from seed.

'Mora County Mix' is very cold tolerant and hardy from Zones 4-9. This selection also has a higher tolerance for heavy, clay soils compared to the species, but will still perform best in drier, well-draining conditions. Regular irrigation in the first year will help new plants establish, but little additional water is required thereafter. Can be pruned heavily in early spring to encourage vigorous growth.

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.

'Mora County Mix' is a cold hardy selection of chocolate flower collected in the high elevations of Mora County, New Mexico and developed at High Country Gardens. Bright yellow flowers are borne above the compact clumps, and emit a strong chocolate aroma. Although each bloom will only last one day, this plant will readily rebloom all summer, especially with deadheading. Come fall the showy, green seed heads can be left on the plant, both to increase self-seeding and as food for birds. Highly attractive to butterflies and other insect pollinators.


No serious insect or disease problems. Root rot may occur in overly moist soils. Deer tend to avoid this plant.


Perennial border. Rock gardens. Wildflower meadow. Naturalized areas. Edger for sunny, hot, informal situations.