Midwest Region - Ohio Ecological Services Office Conserving the nature of America

Lakeside Daisy

Photo courtesy of U.S. Forest Service

Lakeside Daisy
Hymenoxys herbacea


Current Status: Threatened

Description: Lakeside daisy is a long-lived herbaceous perennial. A basal rosette of leaves produces a single 6-11" tall, leafless, erect stalk topped with a solitary yellow flower. All individuals within a given population tend to bloom at approximately the same time, producing the spectacular effect of a golden blanket. Lakeside daisy also reproduces by rhizomatous growth. A single plant may have one to hundreds of rosettes, spreading vegetatively outward up to 3 feet in diameter.

Habitat and Distribution: This species is found in dry, rocky prairie underlain by limestone or in cliff and alvar crevices of exposed limestone rock outcrops. Lakeside daisy requires an open habitat with full sun exposure.

The wide area encompassing known Lakeside daisy sites suggests that the species was once widespread in prairie habitats throughout the midwestern United States. Today, Lakeside daisy is only found in Ohio, Illinois, and Ontario. In Ohio, this threatened species grows in limestone quarries along Lake Erie.

Cause of Decline & Current Threats:
Fire suppression has eliminated the wildfires which once regularly cleared prairie grasslands of the encroaching woods. Now the expansion of shrubs and trees threatens the Lakeside daisy, which needs full sun to survive. Limestone quarrying, recreational activities, and shoreline development destroys suitable habitat and threatens the Lakeside daisy throughout it's current range.

Recovery Prospects:
The recovery plan's criteria for delisting Lakeside daisy includes the protection of essential habitat in Ohio as well as establishing restoration sites throughout the species current range. In Ohio, an experimental population of Lakeside daisy was introduced to Kellys Island in 1989. Habitat management, including the removal of woody species and invasive plants is crucial for this threatened species to recover.

Intensive surveys of the daisy population in Ohio will be conducted during the summer of 2009 to gain a better understanding of the status of the population in Ohio.

More Information

> Regional Information

> Lakeside Daisy Recovery Plan (8mb PDF)

> Species Profile