There are many varieties of perennial daisies for gardeners to enjoy. Flowers typically bloom starting at the end of spring or beginning of summer, and last until September or the first frost. Daisy cultivars grow as herbaceous perennials, dying back after blooming in the next season from their rootstock. Perennial daisies are members of the Asteraceae biological family.
Ox-Eye Daisies have the classic daisy look with a distinguishable large disk, hence the "ox-eye" name. Loraine Sunshine is a distinctive cultivar that has variegated white and green leaves and blooms yellow flowers from July until the first frost. Tuscan Sun grows in a dwarf ox-eye cultivar that grows in a compact clump, spreading to about 1.5 feet wide, and has yellow flowers and a rich, orange-gold coloured centre. Ox-eye daisies tolerate most soil conditions, as long as the soil is kept moist.
Shasta daisies make terrific perennials for borders and cutting gardens. Flowers last up to 10 days in arrangements. Becky is the biggest of the bunch of Shasta cultivars, with 3-inch long rays of white petals and a large yellow centre. It can grow up to 4-feet tall and blooms from July to September in zones 5 to 9. Daisy Duke (also called Daisy May) sports the classic white petal, yellow centre flowers; however, the petals are a bit coarser in appearance than Becky, and Daisy May limits its height to about 2 feet.
In addition to their cheery flowers, coreopsis grow rhizomes underground that send out roots and shoots, allowing gardeners to divide the plant to propagate new plants. Popular perennial cultivars include members of the threadleaf category such as Golden Dream, Grandiflora and Zagreb. Golden Dream is an easy-to-grow coreopsis with yellow petal rays and an orange-yellow centre. Grandiflora grows in a compact fashion with connected or "untoothed" rays and a dark yellow centre. Zagreb is also a compact grower that resembles grandiflora in colour, but forms a more bushy mass of foliage and flowers. Coreopsis is cold hardy in zones 3 to 9 and blooms from June through mid-August.
Asters feature daisy-like flowers that typically bloom a little longer into the fall season. Aromatic aster is a fragrant flowering plant that bears lavender flowers that wait until August to bloom and continue to do so through September or the first frost. The double Japanese aster is a native of Mongolia that bears double white flowers, tinged with purple and blooms from May to September.
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- Missouri Botanical Garden: Heliopsis 'Helhan' Loraine Sunshine
- Texas A&M; Aggie Horticulture: Shasta Daisy
- National Gardening Association: Coreopsis
- Virginia Cooperative Extension; The Organic Way -- Plant Families; E. Sanchez
- The Seed site: Asteraceae
- Heritage Perennials: Stokesia laevis 'Blue Danube'