Mexican daisy is a tender herbaceous perennial native to Mexico, Central America, and parts of South America but has naturalized elsewhere including the west coast of the US. It is a member of the aster family, Asteraceae, that also includes true daisies, goldenrod, and lettuce. Growing from a woody rhizome the plant is trailing with a highly branched, wiry stem. The linear to oval leaves are slightly hairy, one inch long, and may be tipped with several teeth. The ¾” wide flowerheads have yellow disc flowers surrounded by white ray flowers that fade to pink at the end of a long bloom time. Plants readily colonize in cracks and crevices of paving or stone walls where they add color from late spring into fall. The genus name, Erigeron, comes from the Greek words ἦρι (êri) meaning early referring to the early bloom tme, and γέρων (gérōn) meaning old man, referring to the hairy appearance of the fruit that resembles the beard of an old man. The specific epithet, karvinskianus, honors Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Karwinsky von Karwin (1780-1855) a Hungarian botanist who introduced this plant to Europe from Mexico.
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Bloom: The ¾” wide flowerheads have yellow disc flowers surrounded by white ray flowers that fade to pink from early spring to fall.
Size: 6-18” H x 2” W
Light: Full sun
Soil: Average, medium moist-dry, well-drained
Hardiness: Zones 9-10
Care: Dead head to encourage continual bloom; cut back hard mid-season if flowering declines
Pests and Diseases: None of significance
Propagation: Seed, basal cuttings, division
Companion Plants: Lavender cotton (Santolina chamaecyparissus), trailing bell flower (Campanula poscharskyana), red valerian (Centranthus ruber), lavender