About Good Scents

The cut flower business ended in 2011 but I continue to post other items about gardening.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Chrysanthemum coccineum (Pyrethreum roseum, Painted Daisy, )

Painted daisies look like shasta daisies except they come in pink and crimson instead of white (they’re painted daisies). That alone probably makes them worth growing to see how well you like them. Painted daisies are simple daisies, meaning they look like shasta daisies before Luther Burbank got a hold of them. Burbank hybridized shastas to have larger petals with more substance and thicker stems, improvements painted daisies could really use. The stems of painted daisies are long and nice for cutting but with the first rain or windstorm they fall over. Then the flowers twist upward toward the sun and the nice straight stems become crooked. If grown for cutting, they must be staked or supported with some kind of horizontal mesh.

Painted daisies can be nice in a perennial border if you don't mind a little flopping or like to putter, stake and tie. Sometimes a few of the petals are not held exactly perpendicular to the stem which can look charming or shabby depending on your taste. The pink is a nice, clear medium pink while the crimson as really more of a deep pink than a red. It is a very assertive color.

Even if you see these things as flaws, painted daisies may still be worth growing because they bloom during the late-May slow time I keep complaining about. Late May is just as slow in a perennial border as it is for cut flowers so painted daisies may be worth a try.

Painted daisies are easy to start from seed indoors, just sow, lightly cover, and the seedlings appear in 2-3 weeks. Like most easy to start perennials you can also pick them up at Coleman's in Ypsilanti in the spring.

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