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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Thursday - August 31, 2006

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Herbs/Forbs
Title: Fall blooming time for Copper Canyon Daisies
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

None of our Copper Canyon Daisies bloomed this year. Can you tell us why? They have been prolific bloomers in past summers.

ANSWER:

Copper Canyon daisy or Mexican bush marigold, Tagetes lemmonii, mistaken by many to be a Texas native, is actually native to Arizona, Mexico and Central America. Being a day-length sensitive plant, Copper Canyon daisy flowers only when the days get short enough to initiate the flowering response in the plant. It is what is commonly referred to as a "short-day" plant. A few of the many other plants that share this characteristic are Christmas poinsettia (also a Mexican species), Christmas cactus, chrysanthemum and cotton. Thus, it typically only begins to flower in the fall. In mild winters, it may continue to flower heavily until spring.

As the days grow shorter in the coming weeks, you should see your Copper Canyon daisy setting buds. They should begin flowering in earnest in late October or November. Local climatic and growing conditions can "force" Copper Canyon daisy to flower anytime throughout the year, so that is probably why yours have bloomed for you in summers past.

 

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