Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Blackfoot Daisy, Black Foot Daisy, Plains Black Foot Daisy
Melampodium leucanthum

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Melampodium (mel-am-POH-dee-um) (Info)
Species: leucanthum (lew-KAN-thum) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

27 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Alpines and Rock Gardens

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season
This plant is resistant to deer

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)
8.6 to 9.0 (strongly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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There are a total of 21 photos.
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12 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive santamiller On Sep 18, 2014, santamiller from San Antonio, TX wrote:

MIne only get about 4 hours of direct sun per day and bloom profusely for months. As mentioned before, very attractive growing down an overhang. It doesn't get any easier than this.

Positive KWM_SA On Apr 26, 2013, KWM_SA from San Antonio, TX wrote:

I've grown these for quite a few years and found them to be very hardy once established. I have lost a small 4" transplant that just never got settled. Also my oldest stand died out completely in a raised garden bed (completely neglected) over the very hot, dry summer of 2012 -- not sure if it was just neglect as I have read that they are not long-lived in actual dirt. They much prefer rocky soil.

You do need to cut them back (maybe not every year) to get the dead branches out from underneath. They will sprawl out a lot -- 3 to 4' in my experience and are particularly attractive when they can cascade over a wall or tumble over the edge of a bed . They have lovely white flowers that start blooming in early March and will bloom on and off until winter. My favorite part about them is the smell of honey that comes from their blooms when they're in the sun.

Positive jared2122 On Mar 19, 2013, jared2122 from Austin, TX wrote:

This is the easiest plant I've worked with in my yard. I've planted it in pint and gallon size in every season, and I've transplanted a wild specimen from my yard. I've watered them maybe two-three times after planting and they pretty much have taken off on their own from there. This past winter, they had flowers through the whole season. This is an easy, tough, and steady-blooming plant that I would highly recommend, especially for TX.

Positive rampbrat On Apr 18, 2012, rampbrat from Abilene, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:

I had two plants that flourished in last summer's "Summer from Hell": this and Russian Sage. Seventy-five days of 100 plus heat and it never missed a lick. Last to quit blooming in the fall, first to bloom in the spring. LOVE IT!

Positive jomig On Apr 15, 2012, jomig from Mission Bend, TX wrote:

I have a question - will Blackfoot Daisy be happy in 1/2 day shade?

Positive TamsTX On Apr 1, 2012, TamsTX from Kingsland, TX wrote:

This is a lovely, low water, tough as nails plant.

I grow it in full sun, on a slop with reflective heat, with little to no supplemental water. Yet it thrives.

It forms compact mounds in my garden and blooms from March until the first freeze. It's covered in white, daisy like flowers which smell like honey with a hint of vanilla.

I cannot recommend this plant enough for a xeriscape garden.

Positive tejascarol On Dec 29, 2010, tejascarol from Bastrop, TX wrote:

Planted in full sun after bad luck with my first plant in a different location. What started as a little plant in a 4" pot, turned into a sprawling 6' wide mound covered with flowers. It bloomed from early spring & really exploded in growth during July. Love this plant. Bees love it, too.

Positive barbur On May 28, 2008, barbur from Port Lavaca, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I planted 6 of these plants in September 2007 and they have thrived in hot, humid weather ever since. Often plants that can take our south Texas hot weather don't like our humidity but these have grown into large compact mounds. The plant stays short and drapes nicely over raised beds. Even though the bloom is small they show off from a distance because of the density of the blooms.

Positive frostweed On Aug 15, 2007, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Blackfoot Daisy,Melampodium leucanthum, is Native to Texas and other States.

Positive Posie4U On Mar 19, 2005, Posie4U from Mansfield, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Started blooming two weeks ago and is now covered with flowers. And this is only March 19, 2005. Last year, it bloomed through November.

Positive caron On Nov 25, 2004, caron from Woodland Park, CO (Zone 4b) wrote:

Great xeriscape plant.

Unlike most others in the Daisy family the inner "disk" flowers are not fertile. Collect seed from the base of the outter ray flowers in the fall.

Positive htop On Aug 10, 2003, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

San Antonio, Texas

This is an excellent plant for xeriscapes. Mine have been in the ground for over a year and take little care. They have bloomed from March to November. Requiring even less water than my other native Texas plants, I have to remember not to over water them. They need deep infrequent watering and do not like to be overhead watered. No insect pests attact them, no fertilizer is necessary and even though the flowers are small, they show up well in the foreground with dark foliaged lantana as the background planting.

Tough little guys these are: growing in the poorest and thinnest layer of soil in my yard, thriving with almost a solid layer of limestone beneath them and happily overflowing the street curb onto the hot asphalt with hundreds of blooms even with the temperature at 100 degrees for days (108 for 2 days!). NO plant has survived in this area for very long in the past.

They became a little ragged after the 19 degree temperatures this winter and an early spring freeze. I pruned them to about 5 inches and they rebounded like champs. There is one problem. The stems are fragile and break easily (like when dogs, cats and cows who have escaped from the field behind my subdivision tromp through them or I am attempting to remove persistent nut grass). I wish there was a rating higher than positive!

Seeds germinate better if acid scarified. When the soil is warm, sow the seed. Cuttings from semi-soft stems root well and should be approaching woodiness. (See seedhead photo.)

I would space them at least 2 feet apart. Small transplants quickly and eventually become large mounds. If they are too close together, they tend to develop a fungus and parts of the plants die. They obviously need air circulation.

Neutral gardener_mick On Mar 17, 2001, gardener_mick from Wentworth, SD (Zone 4a) wrote:

Bears abundant solitary 1" white daisy-like flowers with yellow centers borne on slender stalks. Forms a neat evergreen mound 6-12" tall and up to 16" wide. Native to the dry desert slopes, mesas, and high plains of the Southwest, where it has developed extreme tolerance to drought. Deep taproot is great for gathering moisture from the soil, but also makes it difficult to transplant once established. Great for rock gardens and erosion control. Doesn't need fertilizer. Cut back in fall.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Chandler, Arizona
Dewey, Arizona
Glendale, Arizona
Peoria, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Merced, California
Pueblo, Colorado
Pahrump, Nevada
Elephant Butte, New Mexico
Nashville, Tennessee
Abilene, Texas
Arlington, Texas
Austin, Texas (6 reports)
Bastrop, Texas
Bedford, Texas
Boerne, Texas
Bulverde, Texas
Chillicothe, Texas
Colleyville, Texas
Conroe, Texas
Crawford, Texas
Crowley, Texas
Dripping Springs, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas (4 reports)
Garland, Texas
Haltom City, Texas
Houston, Texas
Kingsland, Texas
Lampasas, Texas
Liberty Hill, Texas
Linden, Texas
Lufkin, Texas
Manchaca, Texas
Mansfield, Texas
New Braunfels, Texas
Pflugerville, Texas
Port Lavaca, Texas
Rowlett, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (5 reports)

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