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Marcus, Joseph A.
Machaeranthera tanacetifolia (Kunth) Nees
Tanseyleaf tansyaster, Tahoka Daisy, Tansy Aster
Synonym(s): Aster tanacetifolius, Machaeranthera coronopifolia, Machaeranthera parthenium
USDA Symbol: MATA2
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
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.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Annual Habit: Herb Size Notes:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct
, 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.
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
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Mr. Smarty Plants says
Native grasses for medians in Colorado Springs
June 11, 2010
Our city has stopped watering our historic landscaped medians due to severe budget shortfalls. The medians were historically tree boulevards but have had curb and gutter and blue grass added over th...
view the full question and answer
Record Last Modified: 2011-04-28
Research By: DEW, JSC