Leucanthemum vulgare Lam.

Ox-Eye Daisy

Leucanthemum vulgare plant

Family - Asteraceae

Stems - To +1m tall, herbaceous, multiple from base, from rhizomes and fibrous roots, simple or branched above, glabrous, angled.

Leucanthemum vulgare stem

Leaves - Alternate, sessile above, petiolate below, clasping or not, irregular serrate to lobed near base, glabrous, to +10cm long, +2cm broad. Some leaves with lobes extending almost to midrib. Lower leaves spatulate.

Leucanthemum vulgare leaf

Inflorescence - Single flower head terminating stem.

Involucre - To 2cm broad, 4-5mm tall. Phyllaries imbricate, glabrous, lanceolate, with scarious margins, green with brown near margins.

Leucanthemum vulgare involucreInvolucre.

Ray flowers - Sterile. Ligules white, toothed at apex, to +2cm long, 5mm broad. Achenes glabrous. Pappus absent.

Leucanthemum vulgare flowers

Disk flowers - Disk to +2cm broad. Corolla 5-lobed, yellow. Tube to 3mm long. Achenes brown, 10-nerved (ribbed), glabrous, 2.1mm long. Pappus absent. Receptacle convex.

Leucanthemum vulgare diskDisk close-up.

Flowering - May - August.

Habitat - Fields, pastures, waste places, roadsides, railroads, prairies, slopes, disturbed sites.

Origin - Native to Europe.

Other info. - This common plant can be seen growing along roadsides and in waste places throughout Missouri in the early summer. It is simple to identify as nothing else in our wild flora gets such a large white flower head.
According to Steyermark there are two varieties in Missouri. Variety leucanthemum has middle and upper cauline leaves with teeth at base that are larger than the other teeth on leaf. Also, the basal leaves are regularly toothed.
Variety pinnatifidum has middle and upper cauline leaves with conspicuous lobes extending nearly to midrib(pinnatifid). The basal leaves are also pinnatifid to irregularly toothed.
A synonym for the species is Chrysanthemum leucanthemum.

Photographs taken at off Hwy 106, Reynolds County, MO., 5-23-03, and off I-85 near Auburn, AL., 5-12-05.


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