Lakeside daisy is a long-lived perennial that thrives in alvar habitat, which includes sparsely vegetated rock barrens with shallow soils. With its bright yellow flowers, lakeside daisy grows where few others can, on rocky alvar and modified alvar habitat, as well as on nearly barren limestone bedrock in full sunlight. In this harsh environment, where competition is reduced as a limited number of species will thrive in this habitat. All individuals within a given population tend to bloom about the same time, typically in May, producing the spectacular effect of a golden blanket across a rocky landscape. A variety of insects pollinate the flowers including various species of bees and flies. Viable seeds are only produced if plants are pollinated with pollen from another plant that is not genetically similar. Therefore, to maintain a self-sustaining population, the population must contain a variety of genetically diverse individuals. The species can also reproduce vegetatively by producing new rosettes although new seedlings can only grow from viable seed.
Lakeside daisy is a Great Lakes endemic plant species, meaning it is restricted to the Great Lakes region. In the United States it is known from northern Ohio, northern Illinois and a few isolated populations in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. In Ontario, Canada, where more alvar exists, lakeside daisy occurs along much of the southern coast of Manitoulin Island and in several restricted areas near the tip of the Bruce Peninsula. Lakeside daisy is a long-lived perennial that thrives in alvar habitat, which includes sparsely vegetated rock barrens with shallow soils. Other rare plants are also adapted to this habitat.
Threats to this species include loss of alvar habitat, which is the only habitat that supports the species, loss of genetic diversity resulting in unviable seed, shading and competition from other plants, as well as herbivory of small populations. Management at populations varies with some sites regularly managed to address shading and
To facilitate recovery, we are working with partners to collect seeds and plants from a large, unprotected site in Ohio and then transferring them to protected areas within suitable habitat to establish and then maintain new populations within its range. Each spring, seed is collected over multiple days to ensure that seed is obtained from both early blooming and later blooming plants. In addition, seed is collected from multiple sites to maintain genetic diversity as plants in close proximity are often genetically similar. In the fall plants are selected, from a large, unprotected population for transplantation to smaller populations at protected locations. Along with other partners, we are continuing efforts to establish populations in former quarries. We are also working with partners to determine, and then assess, the genetic diversity of individual populations. We also work with partners to protect and improve habitat for the species by decreasing shade and controlling invasive plants at occupied sites.
The petals are double notched and mustard yellow. Over time the flower fades to pale yellow from the center to perimeter of the petals. Long, narrow leaves radiate out from the center forming a basal rosette. Foliage is dark green with young leaves having fuzzy white hairs.
Lakeside daisy is a long-lived perennial. Seedlings narrow fuzzy leaves. As the leaves lengthen they lose the hairs. Mature plants have long, narrow leaves with smooth edges. As the plant grows new basal rosettes are formed. Fuzzy rhizomes will connect rosettes in mature plants as interior rosettes may senesce. Flowers are formed when plants are at least 2 years old. A single flower occurs at the terminal end of the leafless flower stalk. Flower stalks are between 6 to 10 inches tall. The petals are double notched and mustard yellow. Most individuals within a population tend to bloom about the same time, usually in late spring, producing the spectacular effect of a golden blanket across a rocky landscape. All the flower heads track the sun across the sky in unison. After about a week, the vibrant yellow petals begin to fade to pale yellow before falling. Seed dispersal takes place about a month later. Lakeside daisy also reproduces vegetatively by rhizomatous growth. A small percentage of flowers are produced in the fall on flower stalks 1 to 3 inches tall. During the fall as the mature leaves begin to die back, new stouter, fuzzy leaves are developed. At this time the plant has both long, narrow leaves on the perimeter of the plant as well as shorter, fuzzy leaves closer to the center.
Seeds germinate in the spring with a single rosette produced the first year. Over time additional rosettes are produced. Flowers are produced after at least two growing seasons. As the plant matures more flowers are produced. However, not every plant blooms each year.
Lakeside daisy is a self-incompatible species meaning that individuals cannot produce viable seed if they pollinate a genetically similar individual. To create viable seed the population must contain a variety of genetically diverse individuals to maintain a self-sustaining population. Seed is dispersed by gravity and is not usually transported far from the parent plant. Lakeside daisy can reproduce vegetatively through rhizomes.
This is a long-lived perennial.
Hymenoxys acaulis is a similar species that grows in the western United States. The leaves of this species continue to remain densely hairy while the lakeside daisy loses these hairs as the leaves mature.
According to the Alvar Working Group, alvar habitat consists of flat limestone or dolostone bedrock with thin to no soil, few to no trees and is subject to seasonal drought, as noted by The Nature Conservancy in 1999. This species also occurs on modified alvar habitat in which the original alvar habitat has been altered or removed by quarry activities. Modified alvar habitat differs from intact alvar habitat in that the bedrock material has been broken up and is often in the form of gravel. In addition, these sites lack the complete association of alvar plants, as documented by P.M. Catling in 2013. Modified alvar habitat does have some of the other characteristics of alvars including open habitat with few trees and little or no soil.
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