Shasta Daisies

article by Mary Zick

Whenever I hear the word daisy, I immediately picture a flower with white petals and a yellow center, however with just a little research, I have come to realize that the Daisy family (or Compositae family) consists of over 1200 species! It encompasses many types of flowers that I have never associated with daisies, such as Chrysanthemums, Sunflowers, Marigolds, and Asters.

The name daisy stems from the Old English terms for 'day's eye'. This referring to the action of the daisy's blossoms, which open in the morning and close in the evening. I found so many different species of the daisy family that I chose to focus on the Shasta daisy, common name for Chrysanthemum X Superbum or Chrysanthemum maximum, which fits my idea of "the daisy".

Shasta daisies belong to the genus Chrysanthemum, as indicated by its scientific name mentioned above. The American horticulturist, Luther Burbank, developed the Shasta daisy. He accomplished this by interbreeding wild species of chrysanthemums from all over the world for fifteen years. The result was a beautiful flower with white petals and a golden yellow center (to me- the typical daisy).

The Shasta daisy is a perennial that ranges in size from 1-3 feet, with flowers growing as large as six inches, but generally ranging from 2-3 inches. They are best grown in zones 4-10 and in full sunlight. The soil should be fertile, moist (during growing season), and well drained (when dormant). They generally bloom in midsummer (June/July) and last until fall. Shasta daisies can be used as a perennial border, ground cover, or as cut flowers (lasting up to ten days).

I have covered just one of the 1200+ species from the daisy family, which leaves about 1199 for you to explore…enjoy! Feel free to check out the links below to learn more about your favorite type of daisy!


Pat's Web Graphics

Perry's Perennial Page

Daisy Paradise

Garden Guides

This page was created for Dr. Chiwon Lee's class, Plant Science 211, at North Dakota State University.