En EspaÑol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
3 ratings

Saturday - April 20, 2013

Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Origins of the Name For Blackfoot Daisies
Answered by: Anne Van Nest


Can you tell me why blackfoot daisies are named “blackfoot”?


Tracing the origin of the common name for Melampodium leucanthum (blackfoots) stems from the origin of the botanical genus name. Take a look at the Wikipedia website under the genus, Melampodium and you will find the following information... “The name is derived from the Greek words μέλας (melas), meaning "black", and πόδιον (podion), meaning "foot." This refers to the color of the base of the stem and roots. Referenced from Quattrocchi, Umberto (2000). CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names. III: M-Q. CRC Press. p. 1647. ISBN 978-0-8493-2677-6. Members of the genus are commonly known as blackfoots.” Referenced from "Melampodium" in the Integrated Taxonomic Information System.


From the Image Gallery

Blackfoot daisy
Melampodium leucanthum

Blackfoot daisy
Melampodium leucanthum

Blackfoot daisy
Melampodium leucanthum

More Wildflowers Questions

Possibility of over-watering of Asclepias tuberosa
August 05, 2005 - Another question about butterfly weeds, the leaves on one of my plants are turning a yellow-red color and the blossoms seem to be dying (drying up) before they can bloom. It is right in the same area...
view the full question and answer

Can I Divide Rudbeckia in July in NC.
July 22, 2009 - How do I transplant Blackeyed Susans so I can add them to other parts of the bed. I started with one and it is crowding out other plants, so I would like to transplant to other parts of the yard.
view the full question and answer

Zexmenia in upstate NY
March 13, 2011 - Will zexmenia survive in upstate New York (Albany)?
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers and grasses in Vermont
June 01, 2009 - Invasive in VT.? I am ready to try seed balls in my SW Vermont meadow. (All the tilling and clearing of grass - or as sometimes advised - using Round Up??? for a wildflower garden? seems like so muc...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a moist, wooded area in North Carolina
December 06, 2014 - I am looking to plant some native flowers in a wooded area in Surry County NC. The chosen location is fully shaded beside a creek. The water table typically sets about 2 feet below the surface of th...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center