All Hail Hymenoxys

All hail, indeed!!  For those gardeners living in Texas and northwestward states to Colorado, as well as southward into Mexico, it’s a tough proposition to find a longer blooming, better-behaved, cheery daisy to place in the garden than the perennial HymenoxysTetraneuris scaposa.

Commonly called Four-nerve Daisy (because of the veins inside the petals, which the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center describes as “dark purple,” but look green to me), …it’s also known as Stemmy Four-nerve Daisy, Yellow Daisy, and Bitterweed.  It’s a ray of sunshine, year-round, in the home garden or along the highway.

I first planted Hymenoxys over 20 years ago in a spot in my backyard when I began the conversion from a high-maintenance lawn to a low-maintenance, native plants garden. The one I planted didn’t last long and that was  because I planted it in a shady spot. I’ve made lots of mistakes like that over the years and (hopefully) have learned from those mistakes.  That’s the best garden education there is–screw up, learn, redo correctly.  Or at least redo; some of us take longer to learn than others of us.  Over the years, I was enamored and distracted with other aster perennials and never replanted Hymenoxys in my gardens.  When I designed the long, narrow Driveway Garden in spring 2014,  I purchased and planted three Hymenoxys daisies.  I knew they would be great additions to this garden,

…and so they are.  These sweet, dancing-in-the-breezes daisies have bloomed non-stop since being popped in the ground a year

Borne from an evergreen clump of slender grey-green foliage,

…the leafless stems, the ‘scape’ of scaposa,  rise about 6-8 inches, topped by a single daisy.  The stems show a slightly purple tinge (which I do see as purple),

….and in all phases of flower development, the blooms are attractive.

The petals are bright yellow and each ends in three

Hymenoxys is a perennial that works well in many styles of  gardens, including sparse rock/succulent gardens and lush perennial beds.  Hymenoxys is a small plant, so it’s best placed in the front of a bed, rather than behind something that will tower or flop over it. That’s one of the reasons I remembered Hymenoxys for my Driveway Garden–it’s very tidy and doesn’t grow huge like so many perennial shrubs.  It fits well in a narrow spot.

It will seed out prolifically if planted in good soil.  I don’t view that as a bad thing, though I’m sure I’ll eventually have to toss some seedlings into the compost because I won’t have any other spot in my gardens to plant the new additions.   This past fall, I transplanted some seedlings from the mother plants, …and they’ve flourished.  Of course they have.

My patch of Hymenoxys bloomed all winter and that’s another great quality about this plant, its remarkably long bloom time.

Hymenoxys is tolerant of a variety of soil types and is heat and drought resistant during our long summers.  The flowers attract pollinators–I’ve seen bees and butterflies at mine.  Additionally, drum roll please, Hymenoxys is highly deer resistant.

Wow!  The perfect plant!

Unless you’re not fond of pretty yellow flowers!


17 thoughts on “All Hail Hymenoxys

  1. What a timely post! Four nerve daisy is so cheerful and sturdy at the same time. The Hub and I were wondering what native to pop into a small exposed bed that gets a lot of traffic driving by (and unfortunately occasionally over) with lots of deer attention as well. It is looking a lot like Hymenoxys is the answer to all our needs there. (When the gardener is ready, the plant will appear?).


    • I love hymenoxys, but unfortunately, in my garden, so do the deer. I finally had to dig up the bitten stubs and replant them in the back garden, where they now thrive. It is an excellent, cheery little plant.


      • I put a couple of test plants out where the deer will most certainly be eating them if the ones around here have a similar palate preference. It is good to know I can probably transplant them successfully behind the fence if I need to, thanks for that info, Pam!


      • It’s interesting how real-life experience trumps what’s in research and in print. I’ve certainly heard of other “deer resistant” plants happily munched by deer, so you just never know until you try something in the garden–will they eat it? Or not?


  2. I just planted some of these along with a few black footed daisies. Do the bees like yours? I was realizing the other day I don’t think I’ve seen any bees on my neighbors’.


  3. I just did a wander through a local nursery and saw a big display of four nerve daisy. Beautiful. Flower and evergreen? That does sound nearly perfect.


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