Leucanthemum vulgare is a short-lived perennial from rhizomes, vegetative reproduction slow from rhizomes, roots infected with vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae (Clements et al. 2004a); stems 20-80 cm tall, clumped, simple or sparsely branched, usually hairless.
Leaves alternate, 4-15 cm long, narrow, margin lobed or with long, blunt teeth, overwintering leaves of basal rosette more spatula-shaped, widest toward top, dying when plant blooms, stem leaves stalkless, reduced upwards.
Flower heads with 15-35 white rays 1-2 cm long, disk 1-2 cm wide, flowers yellow, 400-500, 0.4 cm long (Clemants et al. 2004a); heads solitary at ends of stems, basal bracts numerous green, edged with brown; blooms June-Aug; pollinated by bumble bees, butterflies and small insects, sometimes may be self pollinated (Clements et al. 2004a).
Fruit dry, 1-seeded (achenes) 0.2 cm, cylindrical, dark brown with 10 pale ribs. Seeds viable for at least 10 years, occasionally up to 20 years in seed bank.
Wetland status: UPL.
Frequency in NYC: Occasional.
Habitat: Open areas, roadsides, meadows, edges, soil pH 5.2-7; moderately tolerant of shade, and infertile soil, intolerant of fire and salt, (USDA, NRCS 2006; Uva et al. 1997).
Notes: Leucanthemum vulgare is one of the parent species involved in the development of “Shasta daisy” the common horticultural plant Flowers attractive to syrphid flies the larvae of which feed on aphids (Clements et al. 2004a).