Marcus, Joseph A.
Machaeranthera tanacetifolia (Kunth) Nees
Tanseyleaf tansyaster, Tahoka Daisy, Tansy Aster
Asteraceae (Aster Family)
Branched stems with fern-like leaves ending in flower heads with many bright purple, very narrow rays surrounding a yellow central disk. Tahoka-daisy is a low, spreading, 6-12 in. annual
with delicate but showy, aster-like flowers. Numerous lavender rays surround a yellow center. The stems are densely covered with sharp-pointed, deeply cut leaves which appear fern-like. Plants often form clumps or mounds.
The fern-like leaves of this beautiful species make it one of the easiest to identify in a complex group. False Tahoka Daisy (M. parviflora
) is similar but has smaller flower heads, each with a central disk only 1/4-1/2 (6-13 mm) wide, and less elaborately divided leaves; it occurs from Utah south to Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico.
Image Gallery: 31 photo(s) available
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Annual Habit: Herb Size Notes:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct
AZ , CA , CO , IL , KS , MT , NE , NV , NM , NY , OK , SD , TX , UT , WY Native Distribution:
Alberta south to southeastern California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico. Native Habitat:
Abundant in sandy soils in the Plains Country and Trans-Pecos, rarely east to stream beds of the Edwards Plateau; SD to Alberta, Canada south to north central Mexico. USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Well-drained, sandy or rocky soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay.
Conditions Comments: This plant is upright to widely spreading and is often naturalized in a short grass meadow or on a rocky slope or other hard to maintain area. Also used to plant between flagstones. Sow seed in situ or in pots and transplant 6 to 12 inches apart in well drained soil. Periodic watering will encourage blooms.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Rock gardens, Rocky hillside, Shortgrass meadow
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: Minimal