Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Plant of the Week: Santa Barbara Daisy

I  have to admit, I used to despise Erigeron.  It just seemed so... everywhere!  I've since realized that everyone uses Erigeron because it adapts to just about anywhere and takes an experienced plant killer to do it any harm.  And yet it's one of those mysterious "natives" you've heard things about!  It blooms pretty much all year round with it's innocent white and light pink eyes, keeping pollinators happy and filling in those expanses of empty mulch space.  It can also give the native garden a cottagey look, if you're into that kind of thing.  There are many varieties, one commonly seen and pictured here is a young Erigeron karvinskianus.

Soil:  Just go for it.  I'm sure it won't care.  (Well, within reason- don't torture the poor thing with hardpan or standing water)
Sun:  Full sun to part shade, although I've seen it very successful in mostly shady gardens as well.
Plant:  Any old time.
Buy it:  Seriously, if every nursery doesn't carry this then they are really behind the times.  However, support your locally owned/specialty nurseries and buy from them!  They might have cool varieties that will make your planty friends do double takes, like this Erigeron glaucus at Las Pilitas Nursery!
Good for:  Filling in blank spaces, adding a creeping element to containers, black thumb gardeners, cottage gardens.


  1. i have to admit i am still in the 'despise erigeron' state. the upside is you can just whack it back and it is forgiving very quickly AND it does give bloom all year. the down side is that if it goes off your radar it can smother neighbors--my buckwheat has never looked the same. the times i have decided to pull it out it has come roaring back within a season--a bit like oxsalis. given that it is a native, i have never seen insects hovering or any leaf damage so i am probably not going to use it in my next re-do--if possible. ls

  2. You know, Linda I've been meaning to amend this post. This particular form of Erigeron is native to Mexico, but the Erigeron glaucus is a CA native. The flowers are much larger and I think it won't be an overachiever like the Mexican form. Plus, it will attract butterflies. It does best near the coast, though. I understand, however about not liking it. I had to have a problem spot at a client's before I realized it could be very useful.