Erigeron karvinskianus is a wonderful plant to grow in the garden. The only way I can fully describe it is to use words like splendorous, billowing, myriads, festooned and floriferous. These little daisies might look like distant cousins of the daisies that you try to remove from your lawns. BUT these ones have utter sophistication written all over them.
A DAISY GONE CRAZY!
They have an attitude of elaborate self-abandonment as they bloom so abundantly.
The plant is easy to grow and so rewarding. However, correctly pronouncing Erigeron karvinskianus is probably more challenging! Calling it Mexican Fleabane, Santa Barbara, Stallone or Mexican daisy is so much easier to say and remember.
It grows to approx. 25cm in heigh, and flowers from June to November in my garden each year. However, further south it can stay in flower for up to 9 months of the year! As a result of this long flowering period, it is a great plant to have in a container on the patio.
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What's In A Name?
It produces oily smoke when burnt that repels fleas so hence the common name Fleabane.
Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Karwinsky von Karwin was the Hungarian botanist responsible for introducing this plant to Europe from Mexico. As a result, it's been growing in UK gardens since 1836.
Masses of narrow white petals surround the yellow disc florets. Later these petals slowly age to pink and purple. Consequently,there are many shades of colour gently cascading over pathways, walls and containers all summer long.
Erigeron karvinskianus - A Plant with a Reputation!
Now some things are too good to be true! This little daisy grows too well in some parts of the world. It’s an invasive weed in some countries … but not here in Perthshire. As they say, one gardener’s weed is another gardener’s desirable plant. The bees and butterflies love this plant as much as I do. Furthermore, it’s also fashionable favourite with many of today’s garden designers. As a matter of fact, I have lost count of how many of these plants I have sold to customers in the garden centre over the past few years.
This little daisy is so versatile in the garden. In fact, it looks just as good in a gravel garden. Not to mention at the front of a border or path. As well as in a container or window box with its soft airy clouds of pastel-coloured blooms.
Erigeron karvinskianus - Growing in Scotland
The plant is trouble-free, low growing, and doesn’t mind inland or coastal gardens. Plant it in a sunny part of the garden in free-draining soil. Under those circumstances, it should survive our cold damp Scottish winters.
Make sure you don’t pull the plant out in your early spring tidy up as it’s slow to green up. Cut off the old dried stems in mid-spring once you see the new growth appearing at the base.
In addition, I usually give the plants a little boost of a nitrogen feed to help them along in May.
If the plant is growing in a container feed it with high potash food during the summer months. Besides this, deadheading will encourage repeat flowering and keep the plant looking tidy.
It self-seeds freely in southern parts of the UK. Although it hasn't self-seeded in my Perthshire garden over the last 3 years.
Maybe that’s really a blessing in disguise considering its international reputation!
Finally, if you are struggling to source this plant you can buy it here as a plant or as seeds (affiliate links). No garden should be without at least one of these plants!
I love the little daisy. I was looking to see if it the same as a little daisy we call the English daisy here, but I don't think so. I've not seem them in the garden centers, but I'd love to have them here at the Garden Spot. I may try garden catalogs. Lovely little flowers, aren't they.
Thanks for the visit Ann 🙂 It's quite similar to the 'english daisy' but much much bigger and there are so many different colours of blooms. I'm sure you'll find it in the USA though it might be too invasive.
They are so beautiful Rosie, i saw some of them in New Zealand. And i smiled at your phrase "attitude of elaborate self-abandonment", maybe i will borrow it sometime. Thanks
Thanks for popping by Andrea … I think these could be called a weed by some New Zealand gardeners!
Daisy gone crazy! Love it:) I have a soft spot for Erigeron. Mine has been with me for many years and surviving many hard winters. Nice to learn some history about it. Thanks for that.
You're very welcome Jannicke and thanks for the visit.
This is amazing. Thanks for sharing this beautiful and elegant post.:) x-)
thanks for taking the time to let me know in the comments that you visited 🙂
WordPress seems to have removed you from my reader! I was looking again at your macro photos and rediscovered your blog.I admired this plant in a friend's garden and put one in myself earlier this year. I was pleased to read your comments about it surviving the winter here in Scotland, though disappointed it is unlikely to self seed here. I wonder if it will divide? I have sent you a message regarding your photos.
Many thanks for the visit 🙂 Myaberdeengarden. I don't think it will divide. You would have to collect the seed and sow indoors with a propagator up here in Scotland. I have a large pot and have 3 of these plants in it. (Must take some photos of that) They are still in full flower at the end of October and billowing over the edges of the pot. I have 10 plants in pots and maybe another 7 in the ground. Hopefully I'll get them all through another winter.