Shasta Daisies - The Classic Perennial
Wednesday, 5 December 2018
By Deb Delahunty, Horticulture Teacher, Wodonga TAFE
The Shasta is a daisy with a big, bold flower – nothing small or delicate about this plant. The botanical name for this plant is Leucanthemum x superbum. The genus name of Leucanthemom is taken from the Greek leukos, meaning white and anthemon meaning flower. The Shasta daisy is a perennial plant that produces large daisy blooms of white with yellow centres. The hybrids of this plant was developed by plant breeder Luther Burbank over one hundred years ago.
This plant grows quickly and produces flowers through the spring, through the summer and even into autumn. This plant belongs to the Asteraceae family which means that what looks like one flower is really a group of small flowers that gives the appearance of only being one. Pick any daisy flower and look closely at it – each ‘petal’ is a flower in its own right and the centre is actually made up of a mass of small flowers jammed tightly together – very deceptive.
Photo – How pretty the Shasta Daisy is, big and bold these flowers are beautiful in the garden and long lasting in a vase.
The Shasta Daisy will often be herbaceous, which means it may die down during the cold weather and then reshoot when the temperatures rise. The specimen at the Horticulture Department at Wodonga TAFE hasn’t died down for a few years, it’s in a beautifully protected location. We give it a decent prune when flowering finishes but that’s all it gets. The Shasta Daisy is great as a cut flower and looks pretty awesome in the garden. There has been some hybridisation with this plant so there are some variations available.
To grow the Shasta successfully – all it needs is full sun and a soil that is well drained and fairly fertile. Water regularly when the temperatures are high and feed monthly for more growth. These are easy plants to propagate, you can collect seed or you can take stem cuttings. This is a great plant to quickly fill a spot in the garden, it’s also a great plant to grow in a container.
Plant your Shasta’s, mulch them well for summer, water regularly, feed monthly and this plant will reward you with masses of flowers.
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