in Tucson, Phoenix,
Arizona and California

Gardening in Tucson, Phoenix, Arizona and California

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Growing Melampodium leucanthum: Black Foot Daisy

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Form: A mound forming subshrub with herbaceous stems on a woody base.
Lifespan: Perennial.
Leaf retention: Evergreen.
Growth rate: Moderate.
Mature Size: 1' high and 2' wide.
Flowers: 8-10 broad white rays notched at the tip, a small yellow central disk with a honey-like fragrance, 1"-1.5" wide.
Bloom: Spring through fall.
Fruit: A seed, found at the base of each ray, not within the center disk.
Leaves: Green, narrowly linear to lance-shaped.
Stems: Green, many-branched, no thorns, becoming woody at the base with age.
Roots: Long taproot.
Wildlife: Attracts insects and, on occasion, butterflies. Birds may be attracted to the seeds.
Toxic / Danger: No.
Origin: Arizona, Colorado, Kansas through Texas and Mexico.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 5-10. This plant dies to the ground in hard freezes.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun.
Water once established: Once a month. Overwatering may reduce lifespan.
Soil: Well drained, dry, low organic content, pH 6.1-7.5 (slightly acidic to neutral). Fertilizing and extra water may increase blooms but shorten lifespan. It does best in sandy and rocky dry soil.
Litter: Low.
Propagation: Seed.
Uses: Ornamental.

This long blooming plant is a member of the Acanthus family (Acanthaceae). Another common name is Plains Blackfoot. The butterfly is a Painted Lady.

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Latest update: February, 2019.

Melampodium leucanthum: Black Foot Daisy

Melampodium leucanthum: Black Foot Daisy - with butterfly