Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Melampodium leucanthum

Blackfoot Daisy, Rock daisy, Plains blackfoot, Arnica

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Melampodium leucanthum (Blackfoot daisy)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
A low, round, bushy plant with flower heads of 8-10 broad white rays surrounding a small yellow central disk. Plains blackfoot or blackfoot daisy is a low, bushy, mounded perennial, 6-12 in. tall and twice as wide. It is covered with narrow leaves and 1 in. wide, white, daisy-like flowers. The white rays are toothed at the tips and surround yellow disk flowers. These honey-scented flower heads are solitary and terminal on slender stalks.

At first glance, Blackfoot Daisy appears to be the twin of White Zinnia (Zinnia acerosa), but flower heads of the latter species have 4-6 broad white rays and a narrow base of several overlapping scales. Both may be found in the same habitat, but the range of White Zinnia does not extend as far south as Blackfoot Daisy.

Image Gallery:

57 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: Plants are seldom over 6 inches high, and the clump is 12 feet across.
Size Class: 0-1 ft. , 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov
Bloom Notes: The yellow-orange disc flowers contrast sharply with the white ray flowers.


USA: AZ , CO , KS , NM , OK , TX
Native Distribution: CO to OK, s. to AZ, c. TX & Mex.
Native Habitat: Throughout, Prairie, Plains, Meadows, Pastures, Savannahs, Dry calcalreous substrates

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Dry, rocky, calcareous soils. Rocky, Gravelly Sandy, Limestone-based, Caliche type
Conditions Comments: Blackfoot daisy is a sturdy, mounding plant, that will flourish in rock gardens. It is heat and drought tolerant. Good drainage is essential to its success. In late winter, older plants can be cut back halfway to keep them compact. Rich soil and abundant water will likely produce many more flowers in the short-term, but may consequently shorten the lifespan.


Use Ornamental: Showy, Rock gardens, Blooms ornamental, Long-blooming
Use Wildlife: Nectar-Bees, Nectar-Butterflies, Nectar-insects, Seeds-Granivorous birds
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Deer Resistant: High

Last Update: 2015-02-06