Oxeye daisy

Identification & Biology
Alias' : Ox-eye daisy, dog daisy
Latin Name : Leucanthemum  vulgare
Category : Terrestrial Plants
Description :
  • Perennial plant 
  • Typical daisy appearance, single flower heads at end of branches 
  • White ray flowers with yellow discs. Flower head diameter is approximately 5 cm 
  • Single to a few erect stems, sometimes branched. Height 0.2-0.8 m  
  • Basal leaves are stalked, coarsely divided, and 4-15cm long. Leaves are smaller and clasping towards the shoot 
  • Ribbed black achenes (simple, dry, one-seeded fruit) 


Oxeye daisy is an out-of-control perennial, considered regionally noxious under the BC Weed Control Act. It was first introduced to North America from Europe as an ornamental. Oxeye daisy is considered an invasive plant in 13 crops in 40 countries! Oxeye daisy grows rapidly and spreads quickly, with seeds and underground stems. A single plant can produce 26,000 seeds and leads to new, dense, infestations that quickly spread. Flowering typically occurs from late spring into early summer. 

Oxeye daisy is sometimes confused with scentless chamomile (Matricaria perforata) and shasta daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum). Scentless chamomile has smaller flowerheads (2-3 cm diameter), and has finely divided leaves. Shasta daisy is a ornamental plant that is larger (15-30 cm taller) and has flower heads with a greater diameter.

Look Alikes

Oxeye daisy is commonly found  in  low to mid-elevations in grasslands and dry to moist forests. This unwanted invader is present in the  Kootenays, Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, and of major concern in the Cariboo, Okanagan, Peace River, Thompson, and  Omineca. The plant can be found  along  roadsides, in  pastures, waste areas, grassland and forested areas within low to mid elevations. 

Impact & Risks
  • Oxeye daisy plants aggressively reproduce and lead to dense patches that reduce native plant diversity.  
  • Infestations can decrease forage for wildlife and may decrease vegetative ground cover due to its growth form, thereby increasing the area of exposed soil on site. 
  • Due to its unpleasant taste, most grazers tend to avoid it, allowing it to spread easily within grazed grasslands, pastures, and rangelands.  
  • As many as 40% of the seeds consumed by cattle may remain viable after passing through the digestive tract. 
  • These plants have also shown to carry several crop diseases including the yellow dwarf virus of potatoes.  
Prevention & Mitigation

The most effective way to ensure that your lands do not become infested with oxeye daisy is by prevention. Here are some recommendations to prevent oxeye daisy from invading your property: 

  • Maintain your crops and natural lands in a healthy, vigorous condition to ensure a competitive plant community. 
  • Regularly patrol your property for oxeye daisy plants and immediately control or remove infestations before seed set. Do not leave plants to compost as they may still produce viable seed. 
  • Shasta daisy is a good alternative to oxeye daisy, and if you want to bring nature back to your garden with wildflower.  
  • Buy wildflower mixes only from a reputable native plant nursery that has collected seeds locally.  
  • Cooperate with adjacent landowners and encourage them to prevent oxeye daisy spread.
  • Immediately re-vegetate disturbed, bare soils with a suitable seed mixture that provides dense, early colonization to prevent weed invasion.  
  • Do not move contaminated soils to a new area. 
Treatment & Disposal
  • Oxeye daisy can either be mowed, hand-pulled, digged, or treated with herbicides.  
  • Mowing may effectively reduce seed production, but should be repeated as it may stimulate vegetation growth.  
  • Grazing by sheep and goats may also reduce oxeye daisy populations.  
  • Oxeye daisy can be hand-pulled or digged, however, ensure that all roots are removed as new shoots may emerge from remaining root portions. Follow up treatments will be required as seeds can remain viable in the soil for many years.  
  • Chemical control is an option. Before applying herbicides, read the label for full use and precautionary instructions.  For further information on the selection and application of chemicals to protect your crop, contact AgriService BC at 1-888-221-7141 or email AgriServiceBC@gov.bc.ca
  • There are currently no biocontrol agents available for oxeye daisy in BC.  
Okanagan Distribution

Priority Level Definitions

Watch For - Poses a significant threat (very high risk) and does NOT presently occur in the region OR is relatively new to the region and is very limited in extent.
High - High risk/impact; limited population with significant potential to spread in the region.
Medium - Medium risk/impact; limited distribution – broader population distribution with potential to spread further in a region.
Low - Low risk/impact; may be widespread or not, may be of concern in specific situations with certain high values – e.g. specific agriculture crops. Some species may be treated primarily with biological control agents.