Introduced. Perennial. Propagates by seeds. Time of bloom: May to October. Seed-time: June to November. Range: Nearly throughout North America. Less common in the South and the West. Habitat: Old fields, meadows, pastures, and waste places.
The seeds of this plant are an impurity of nearly all grass seeds and are distributed with them; fruiting plants are mown with the hay, baled with it, and shipped about the country, pass unharmed through the digestive tracts of the farm animals and are returned to the land in uncomposted stable refuse, carefully spread - no wonder it is such a pervasive weed.
Stems often tufted, one to three feet high, erect, slender, finely grooved, nearly smooth, sometimes forking near the top but usually simple, springing from a short, thick rootstock fringed with fibrous rootlets. Root-leaves in a tufted mat about the base of the stem, spatulate in outline, pinnatifid and irregularly toothed, tapering to petioles; stem-leaves narrowly oblong, sessile and clasping, also cut and toothed. Heads single at the summit of the stalk, about two inches broad, bearing twenty to thirty spreading, white rays, slightly notched at their tips; disk yellow and about a half-inch broad; rays and disk-florets both fertile; involucre very shallow and flat, its bracts with scarious margins and closely imbricated. Achenes grayish black, finely ribbed, without pappus.
Fig. 343.- White or Ox-eye Daisy (Chrysanthemum Leucanthemum var. pinnatifidum). X 1/4.
These will ripen sufficiently to germinate in ten days after the opening of the flowers. (Fig. 343.)
Sow clean seed. Cleanse the Daisy-cursed meadow with a short rotation of other crops. Though perennial, the roots are shallow and are turned out and killed by the plow. Mow infested meadows as soon as the first flowers appear, in order that the seeds may not have time to ripen. Frequently cut and salt the plants of the pasture, which will induce the stock to feed on the leaf-tufts and aid in their destruction. Roadside and waste-land plants should be cut before seed development, or should even be hoed out, for the benefit of adjacent ground.