Daisy, Ox-eye, Chrysantheum leucanthemum

Life Cycle



Reproducing by seed and by underground rhizomes.


Stems erect or curving upwards 20 - 90 cm high.


Lower leaves broadly spoon-shaped, deeply and coarsely dissected or toothed, stalked, smooth, dark green, often glossy and fleshy; upper leaves narrower, similarly dissected or deeply toothed, stalkless and often clasping the stem, alternate (1 per node).

Flowers and Fruit

Flower heads large and showy, daisy-like, 2.5 - 5 cm across, borne singly at ends of stems and main branches; ray florets usually 15 to 30 per head, white, 1 - 2 cm long; disk florets bright yellow, short, numerous, densely packed, forming a slightly rounded centre; involucral bracts at base of each head numerous, firm, overlapping, light green with brownish margins; seeds top-shaped with a knob-like projection on the upper end, ridged, and with alternate black and white stripes. When crushed, all parts of the plant have a disagreeably sour odour. Flowers from early June to late autumn.

Roots and Underground Structures

Single stem protruding from upturned ends of rhizomes, or few to many from a stout root-crown.


Ox-eye daisy is very common and conspicuous throughout Ontario, often forming dense infestations in pastures, meadows and waste places, but also occurring in cultivated land, roadsides, gardens and lawns.

Figure #1.

Ox-eye daisy. A. Young rosette. B. Older plant with flowering stems.

Figure #10.

Root of ox-eye daisy. Note the large size and depth of the root clump making management with herbicides virtually impossible. Tillage with a moldboard plough is needed to manage

Figure #2.

Figure #3.

Daisies along roadside, central Ontario, early July.

Figure #4.

Figure #5.

Daisy flower.

Figure #6.

Close-up of flower head of ox-eye daisy.

Figure #7.

Back of flower head of ox-eye daisy.

Figure #8.

Narrow leaf of Ox-eye daisy.

Figure #9.

This photo compares the ox-eye daisy leaf and the scentless chamomile leaf - two species which can appear similar from a distance. Note the smaller size and more feather-like appearance of the chamomile leaf.