Ox-eye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) is a perennial herb from Europe that spreads primarily by seed, but also by shallow creeping roots (rhizomes). The species is part of the daisy family (Asteraceae) and flower heads are typically daisy-like and grow to 5 centimetres in diameter. The plant can grow to 1 metre tall and exhibits deeply lobed leaves that progressively decrease in size up the stem. Mature plants can produce up to 26,000 seeds, which are dispersed by animals, vehicles and water. Seeds are very long-lived, 80% are viable for six years and some up to 39 years.
Ox-eye daisy is a weed in over 40 countries and large infestations are present in the northern parts of North America, being found in every state of the U.S. The weed is not palatable to cattle and affects pastoral lands by reducing carrying capacity. Dense infestations exclude other plant species, leading to soil erosion and depletion of soil organic matter.
In NSW, ox-eye daisy is present in tableland regions such as the Northern Tablelands, Barrington Tops, the Central Tablelands and the Southern Alps. Within the Tantangara Area of Kosciuszko National Park, the population has spread rapidly since bushfires in 2007. While most commonly observed in disturbed areas such as roadsides and cleared land, of most concern is the species aggressively invading undisturbed subalpine grasslands, snowgum woodlands and wetlands in Kosciuszko National Park.
A dense ox-eye daisy infestation in woodland at Tantangara
The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is undertaking a dual ox-eye daisy containment and asset protection program in Kosciuszko. Within the core infestation, six known populations of threatened flora are being protected, while simultaneously containing the infestation and preventing establishment in surrounding suitable habitat areas. These efforts have been accompanied by research to determine the mechanisms of invasion, extensive trialling of best practice management techniques, and investigation of methods to assist native flora to compete with ox-eye daisy.
View our Flickr gallery for images of the National Parks and Wildlife Service control program.
Page last updated: 06 March 2015