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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Saturday - October 29, 2011

From: Amarillo, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources, Seeds and Seeding, Wildflowers
Title: Source for seed of Blackfoot Daisy from Amarillo TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I need help finding Melampodium leucanthum seed. I have spent the last few hours on the web searching for them. I checked the resources in your lists and cannot find seed. I live in Potter County right where it goes from Rolling plains to High plains and have 3 acres I would like to start "naturalizing." It was previously farmland. I would be happy to have any suggestions you could offer on other plants for this area. I have already started two types of blanket flower, scabiosa(not sure if its native but it does great here), coneflower, and already had some mexican hat and buffalo grass. I hope I can make this work and then encourage others with these native plants when I start my Master Gardener program. This years unprecedented drought sure sparked a lot of interest in plantings that are suited to this type of weather. I have had less than 2" of moisture at my house since last November and the mexican hat and scabiosa are still blooming without any watering. Thank you for your attention.

ANSWER:

It is a little strange you are having trouble obtaining seed. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Fall Plant Sale October 14 to 16 had Melampodium leucanthum (Blackfoot daisy) on sale (in 4 in. pots). The Native Plant Society of Texas always has a space at our sales and they usually have the plant, again in pots, for sale. This USDA Plant Profile map shows that the blackfoot daisy grows natively over most of West Texas, including Potter County. We checked two of our usual sources for seeds, Native American Seed in Junction, TX and Wildseed Farms in Fredericksburg; neither of which had seeds listed.

Perhaps you are looking too far afield for seeds. Since they are obviously growing in your area, perhaps you can find someone with a stand of the plant and can obtain permission to gather seed. Here is a list of Native Plant Society chapters in Texas, including one in Amarillo. There is contact information, and they could be able to help you locate a source. Follow this plant link Melampodium leucanthum (Blackfoot daisy) to our Native Plant Database webpage to learn growing requirements.

Dave's Garden Forum comments on Blackfoot Daisy, including this comment on gathering seeds:

"Unlike most others in the Daisy family the inner "disk" flowers are not fertile. Collect seed from the base of the outer ray flowers in the fall."

In response to your second question, asking for a list of plants that will do well in your area, we already have lists prepared of plants native to specific areas of Texas. The list for the High Plains has 146 plants on it; read the description of the soils and conditions in that area. On the sidebar at the right side of the page, select on "herb" (herbaceous blooming plants), click on Narrow Your Search and you will have a list of 82 flowering plants that will grow in your area.

 

From the Image Gallery


Blackfoot daisy
Melampodium leucanthum

Blackfoot daisy
Melampodium leucanthum

Blackfoot daisy
Melampodium leucanthum

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