Leucanthemum vulgare Lam. - Ox-eye Daisy or Grande Marguerite.

Systematic position.

Family Asteraceae (Compositae), genus Leucanthemum Hill. L. vulgare has several subspecies which some taxonomists consider to be separate species. In the territory of the former USSR L.v. ircutianum (Turz. ex DC.) Tzvel., L.v. margaritae (Gayer ex Jav.) Soo, and L.v. subalpinum (Shur) Soo are distributed and here described.


Chrysanthemum leucanthemum L., Matricaria leucanthemum Desv. ex Lam., Pyrethrum leucanthemum Franch.

Biological group.

This is a summer-green perennial short-rhizome plant.

Morphology and biology.

The main tap root is 6-10 cm long, growing at a shallow depth (to 10 cm), slanting, and developing numerous lateral roots. Additional buds arise at the base of the main root, forming new stalks every year. The main root branches in the upper part with further growth, producing bushes of stalks. The plant forms a rosette of leaves by autumn, then winters, and only in the next year it produces blossoms and fructifying stalks. The stalk is straight, simple or branchy above, glabrous or poorly pubescent, 30-60 (80) cm tall. Stalks are single or few in number. Phyllotaxy is alternate. The basal leaves reach up to 10-15 cm in length, located on long petioles having oval plate and exceeding the length of leaf plate. The leaf plate is bluntly dentate or finely lobed along margin. The lower leaves sit on short petioles, other leaves are sedentary, tapered and narrowed at the base, oblong or oblong-linear. Inflorescence is a calathidium having a corona that is 3-6 cm in diameter. Large calathidia sit solitary (seldom in groups of 2-5) on tops of stalks or lateral branches. Each inflorescence is composed of numerous yellow disc flowers and about 20 white ray flowers. Receptacle is bare, flat or half-spherical. Involucre is caliciform, imbricate, 3-5 mm long and 12-20 mm wide, glabrous or almost glabrous. Its leaflets are oblong, blunt and green from above, with white or brownish scarious rand along margin. Pistillate flowers have ligulate white corona, located along margin, 12-40 in number, up to 12-25 mm long. Bisexual flowers have a tubular yellow corona that is 2-3 mm long and located on disk in the center of the flower head. The plant blossoms from June until August. Reproduction occurs by seeds and cloning. One plant produces 2000 to 12000 seeds. Absolute weight of one fruit is 0.4 mg. Achene is gray, almost straight, 1-3 mm long and 0.5-0.9 mm wide, cylindrical, oblong, having 5-10 projecting white ribs, rounded-truncated at top, narrowed at base. Achenes of bisexual flowers have no pappus and those of pistillate flowers have a pappus in the shape of a one-sided coronet up to 0.4 mm long (quite often the coronet is rather reduced).


Species of the genus Leucanthemum are distributed in mountains of Middle and Southern Europe. L. vulgare is a Euroasian species described to be from Western Europe. By the beginning of the 20th century the species was distributed in all of Europe (except the Arctic zone) and in most parts of Asia. By now it has been brought to all non-tropical countries. In the former USSR the species is distributed almost everywhere in the European part (northern border of forest zone) and in Siberia to Transbaikalia (north to 61° C). It was introduced to the Far East and Central Asia.


This species is distributed in forest and forest-steppe zones, also on subalpine meadows in mountain areas. Being a luciphile mesophyte, it prefers meadow or meadow-steppe type of humid areas. This perennial plant loves drained grasslands with neutral soil. In natural habitats it grows in meadows, clearings, in light forests, on slopes and taluses. In anthropogenic places it is found along roads and field edges, on fallow lands and in crops. It is quite common in pasturelands and meadows. It can often colonize open ground, being particularly rampant on fertile soil.

Economic significance.

The flowers are used in alternative medicine and for production of yellow dye. The plant has insecticide properties. It is a bee plant. Young leaves are edible. This species is used in decorative floriculture; there are cultivars. This plant is a widespread weed in forest zones of the former USSR. It grows with abundance levels of 2 and even 3 points in crops of perennial grasses and winter grains, less often in crops of other cultures. The plant litters up to 4% of fields in the Non-Chernozem zone, and up to 12% of fields in areas of flax growing. It also spoils the quality of hay and reduces hay yield if it expands on meadows.

Control measures.

Regularly destroy rhizomes of the weed with the help of appropriate types of soil treatment and herbicides. Do not contaminate sowing material or ground with seeds of the weed. Mow off or pull up the weeds before fructification. Agronomical actions should be directed at weakening the weed, with the periodic pruning of roots. It is necessary to remember that good results in the struggle against the weed are only reached with a combination of agronomical and chemical methods.

Reference citations:

Mal.tsev A.I. 1939. Atlas of major species of weed plants of the USSR. V. 2. Moscow-Leningrad: Selkhozgiz. 88 p. (In Russian)

© Kravchenko O.E.


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