Ox-eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)

Photo: (c) Dean Morley CC BY-ND 2.0

Family: Asteraceae

Growth Habit: Ox-eye daisy may reach a height of about 100 cm, but more typically averages 30-60 cm. The leaves are dark green that get progressively smaller in size up the stem. It grows quite densely due to stems, which touch the ground often, take root and form new plants.

Type of Plant: An erect perennial herb.

Flowers: Ox-eye daisy flowers between September and December. The flower is a typical daisy type, with white petals and a yellow centre that grow to 5 cm in diameter.

Fruit/Seed: The seeds are 1.4-2.5 mm long and 0.6-1.2 mm wide. They have distinctive raised and rounded slender ribs that run from base to tip.

Dispersal: Seed is dispersed by soil movement, wind and water. New plants arise from stems touching the ground and rhizomes.

Distribution: Ox-eye daisy prefers temperate regions, disturbed sites and heavy damp soil. It is most commonly found along roadsides in Tasmania.

Status: Undeclared in Tasmania.

Weed Impact:

  • Ox-eye daisy has minimal economic impact in Tasmania, however it is unpalatable to cattle and can reduce the quality of pasture available for grazing.
  • As it grows very densely it is capable of displacing native plants, leading to soil erosion and depletion of soil organic matter.
  • Plants can produce up to 26,000 that can last up to 6 years and some even to almost 40.
  • Although not readily grazed it can contaminate milk if consumed.

For further information contact the Department of Primary Industry, Parks, Water and Environment, Tasmania.

Control Methods:

  • Control before they flower and produce seeds.
  • Hand pulling of small infestations is easy as roots are shallow
  • Cultivation (early flowering stage – Sept). Cultivation to at least 15 cm exposing and killing root system. Shallower cultivation over 2 or 3 years kills seedlings and regrowth from root pieces.
  • Grazing (autumn and winter). Sheep may help eat young plants. Improve pastures to improve competition.
  • Herbicide (spring, summer). Herbicides registered in Tasmania include Dicamba, amitrole, MCPA and glyphosate.

N.B. Always check the herbicide label before use.