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Berlandiera lyrata (Chocolate daisy)
Flaigg, Norman G.

Berlandiera lyrata

Berlandiera lyrata Benth.

Chocolate Daisy, Chocolate Flower, Lyreleaf Greeneyes, Green-eyed Lyre Leaf

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Synonym(s): Berlandiera incisa, Berlandiera lyrata var. macrophylla


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Lyre-leaf greeneyes or chocolate flower is a velvety-leaved, usually 1-2 ft. perennial. Its mounded, coarse, gray-green foliage has a chocolate aroma. A leafy plant, often with many short branches at base and longer, leaning branches ending in leafless stalks topped by flower heads with yellow rays surrounding a maroon central disc. The numerous, daisy-like blossoms are 2 in. across with yellow rays and a maroon center. These flowers open in the morning and droop in the heat of day. The cup-like seedheads which follow are also attractive.

The genus name honors Jean-Louis Berlandier (1805-1851), a French-Swiss physician who collected plants in northern Mexico and Texas in the early 1800s. A chocolate odor may be detected when the rays are plucked from the flower head.


From the Image Gallery

68 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: Up to about 4 feet tall, often much shorter.
Leaf: Green
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov


USA: AZ , CO , KS , NM , OK , TX
Native Distribution: Extreme s.w. KS to w. TX, w. to s.e. CO & AZ, south to Jalisco in central Mexico
Native Habitat: Dry, rocky limestone soils in Texas panhandle and west of the Pecos River. Well-drained sand, loam, clay, caliche. Well-drained plains & mesas

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Conditions Comments: This flower smells like chocolate! On warm days it will fill the air with fragrance. In rich soil with extra water, the plant may fall over but it will send up branchlets along the stem which will produce more flowers. In a meadow, it can be mowed in early summer after the first wave of blooms. It will bloom year round in warm weather.


Use Ornamental: Wildflower meadow, Accent shrub, Perennial garden, Shortgrass meadow, Can be mowed, Aromatic
Use Wildlife: Wildflower meadow, Accent shrub, Perennial garden, Shortgrass meadow, Can be mowed, Aromatic
Use Food: Flowers used for seasoning.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: High


Propagation Material: Seeds
Seed Collection: Collect seed in late spring, early summer. Makes seed continuously.
Seed Treatment: Seeds germinate well outdoors in spring through fall.
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: This easy-to-grow perennial is susceptible to root rot in heavy, wet soils. Deadhead for continuous bloom.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

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


Bibref 307 - Edible and Useful Plants of Texas and the Southwest: Including recipes, harmful plants, natural dyes, and textile fibers: A Practical Guide (1999) Tull, D.
Bibref 765 - McMillen's Texas Gardening: Wildflowers (1998) Howard, D.
Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 281 - Shinners & Mahler's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas (1999) Diggs, G. M.; B. L. Lipscomb; B. O'Kennon; W. F...
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender
Bibref 36 - Useful wild plants of Texas, the Southeastern and Southwestern United States, the Southern Plains, and Northern Mexico (Volume 1: Abronia-Arundo) (1995) S. Cheatham; M. C. Johnston; L. Marshall

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2022-12-07
Research By: TWC Staff, RLU

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