Melampodium divaricatum

Common Name: melampodium 
Type: Annual
Family: Asteraceae
Zone: 2 to 11
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to frost
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual, Naturalize
Flower: Showy


Annual. Easily grown in average, evenly moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Needs consistent moisture, but prefers soils slightly on the dry side. Sow seed directly in the garden after last frost date. For earlier bloom, start seed indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost date. Set seedlings or purchased plants out after last frost date. Although plants are quite tolerant of hot and humid summer weather, taller stems tend to flop in the heat of summer. Deadheading is not required. May self-seed in optimum growing conditions.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Melampodium divaricatum, commonly called melampodium or butter daisy, is an aster family annual that produces solitary daisy-like flowers (to 1” wide) with yellow rays and darker yellow centers from spring to fall on plants growing 12-24” tall. As the flowers fade, the stems branch to produce additional bloom. Light green, entire, oblong stem leaves on purplish stems. Nomenclature for melampodium is quite confusing. Some authorities list this plant to be synonymous with Leucanthemum paludosum (baby marguerite). However, L. paludosum is in reality a totally different plant: a 2-6” tall cool weather annual featuring daisy-like flowers with white rays and yellow centers and serrate foliage.

Genus name comes from the Greek melam meaning black and pous meaning foot for its black stalks.

Specific epithet means spreading or growing in a straggling manner.


No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to powdery mildew.


Borders, beds, pots/containers. Cutting gardens.