Engelmann Daisy, Engelmannia peristenia: Easy-to-grow perennial with spring and early-summer bright yellow blooms
Description: Engelmann Daisy, Engelmannia peristenia, is a native perennial found throughout Texas except in East Texas. It is found in calcareous, loamy or clay soils in open fields and is a common roadside wildflower. E. peristenia was named for George Engelmann (1809-1884), the German-American physician and botanist who described over 180 North American species and helped found the Missouri Botanic Garden. E. peristenia is also commonly called Cutleaf Daisy because of its deeply lobed, deep-green leaves, which are 6 to 12 inches long. It will usually grow 2 to 3 feet tall, to a 2 to 3 foot width.
Flowers and Seeds: Engelmann Daisy can be found blooming from February through November with the peak of bloom in March through June in North Texas. The flowers are found on sturdy branching stems that emerge from the evergreen rosettes in spring. The eight-petalled, 1 to 1 and 1/2 inches across, bright yellow flowers open in the late afternoon and will fold the next afternoon if it is hot. Engelmann Daisy will self-seed if the seed is not eaten by the birds. Seeds may be collected after flowering. If cut back during the late summer, Engelmann Daisy may flower again in the autumn.
Planting sites: Engelmann Daisy thrives in full to partial or dappled sun in most soil types.
Watering Instructions: Engelmann Daisy should be given supplemental water at the time that it is first planted. After it is established, it is very drought tolerant, although supplemental water may extend flowering. However, over-watering can make it “floppy”. It should have adequate drainage; it will not tolerate “wet feet.” Engelmann Daisy is a good choice for xeric landscaping.
Comments: Engelmann Daisy seed is a common component of wildflower and rangeland seed mixes. Its value to livestock is the high protein content of its leaves. Deer and rabbits also browse its leaves and birds eat its seed. It provides cover for small mammals and birds. Engelmann Daisy’s deep taproot makes it valuable for erosion control and gives it outstanding drought resistance. Good companion plants for Engelmann Daisy include Green Milkweed (Asclepias viridiflora), Fragrant Phlox (Phlox pilosa) and Lanceleaf Coreopsis (C. lanceolata). Blooming a little later than Engelmann Daisy are Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta L.) and Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea).
Written by Dr. Becca Dickstein