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Machaeranthera tanacetifolia (Tanseyleaf tansyaster)
Marcus, Joseph A.

Machaeranthera tanacetifolia

Machaeranthera tanacetifolia (Kunth) Nees

Tanseyleaf tansyaster, Tahoka Daisy, Tansy Aster

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

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 Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: 6-12
Leaf: Green
Flower:
Fruit:
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct

Distribution

USA: AZ , CA , CO , IL , KS , MT , NE , NM , NV , 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.

Growing Conditions

Water 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.

Benefit

Use Ornamental: Rock gardens, Rocky hillside, Shortgrass meadow
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: Minimal

Find Seed or Plants

Order seed of this species from Native American Seed and help support the Wildflower Center.

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

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...
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From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Sibley Nature Center - Midland, TX
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX

Bibliography

Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Machaeranthera tanacetifolia in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Machaeranthera tanacetifolia in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Machaeranthera tanacetifolia

Metadata

Record Last Modified: 2011-04-28
Research By: DEW, JSC

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