The third week in October has been designated Texas Native Plant Week. In celebration I am highlighting one of the native plants I have growing in my garden; the blackfoot daisy, Melampodium leucanthus. Mela meaning black, pod meaning foot, leucos meaning white and anthos meaning flower. All from the Greek.
In bloom during almost every month of the year the blackfoot daisy makes a low growing perennial which can reach a diameter of 30" It would be ideal as a ground cover in well drained soil. In my garden it seeds in gravel areas and would like to take over the pathways. I cut it back in the fall so that next year it will be more bushy and manageable.
Sometimes known as the plains blackfoot surely this plant was named for the Blackfoot Indians. The association probably comes for the fact that the Blackfoot sometimes dyed their moccasins black and our little daisy also has a blackfoot.
Each of the notched, white ray flowers is subtended by a small foot-shaped bract which turns black as the flower matures.
It self sows easily popping up in all kinds of locations. This one greets me when I enter the greenhouse. It has lots of company as seeds that fall on the adjacent potting shed floor are swept out into the gravel. This is a great place to 'shop' for new plants.
The Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center is celebrating this week with garden walks. If you live close by please join the Texas fall wildflowers in this special garden.
Not too early to order bulbs for fall planting
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