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Plantidote of the Day 2012-11-26

twig's picture

tree daisy

Verbesina turbascensis

Tree daisy

Too bad there's no way to show the scale of this plant. It looks so ordinary in the photo. In real life, it's about 15 feet tall and looks like giant daisies from outer space!!

If you're in Zones 9A through 11 and have room for a mammoth daisy tree (20 feet high is not unheard of with these guys), you're in luck. Now all you have to do is find a plant, which seem to be in short supply. So is information about growing tree daisies.

Here are pretty much the only details I could find on the tree daisies. From PlantLust:

Prehistoric looking & virtually unknown in the garden world, this massive & majestic tree daisy sports the most dramatic foliage of almost any plant we grow! Leaves are up to 2' long, heavily lobed, with a felted surface, & purple highlights. Originally a gift from Strybing Arboretum, this giant from the Aster family grows to 20' tall, & is soft stemmed & multibranching to 10' wide or more with time. Flowering occurs in Winter when a display of foot-wide racemes of small white flowers bloom at the tip of each branch. Smashing! Plants can be cut back hard periodically to control height, & rejuvinate growth, & look best where they are protected from weather than can damage the giant leaves. Rich soil for best show!

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Readers, please send twig (twig4now@gmail.com) images and stories for the ongoing Plantidote of the Day series. In exchange, you'll win undying fame in the form of a hat tip! Plants growing in your garden, your house, or neighbor's yard, plants from the forest or farmers' market, plants you preserved, plants you prepared (wine; cider; tea; dried beans), plants you harvested (grains; chantrelles), plants you picked (flowers), plants you dried (herbs), plants you covet or hope to grow someday. Herbal remedies, propagation tips, new varieties, etc.. And if you can, include some solid detail about the plant, too -- a story, the genus and species, or where you got the seeds, or the recipe, or your grandmother gave it to you. Or challenge us with a "Name That Plant" mystery entry ... And please feel free to add corrections and additional information in the comments.

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jerztomato's picture
Submitted by jerztomato on

I wanted to find out more, so I Googled it. It told me it couldn't find it, so I just looked for verbesina. Eventually I found 1 reference (Annies Annuals) I was hoping to find more, because I like to defy the zone gods. BTW, Annies annuals has a picture of the plant not in bloom. The leaves are fantastic!

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

There were so many flowers on the tree I photographed that I didn't even notice the leaves. Good excuse to go back in a few months!

I can't find any for sale, either. Kind of makes me want to swipe a little branch and root it. Bad girl, I know! But I don't think it would be missed -- it's a huge plant!