Daisies in November?

Nipponanthemum nipponicum in mid-October

At first I thought this generous mound abloom in a neighbour’s garden was a shasta daisy. But, wait. Shasta daisies in October… and, now, November?

And what’s with that distinctive foliage? The whorled form sort of reminded me of Pacific chrysanthemum. Could it be a mum?

Well, I relish an ID challenge. My search revealed these late-season lovelies to be Montauk daisies. Turns out both guesses were on the right track. It has been a shasta daisy and a chrysanthemum in its lifetime – a plant of many names.

The current species name is Nipponanthemum nipponicum, reflecting its Japanese origin. So it won’t surprise that Nippon daisy is also its common name. But past taxonomists have classed it in two camps. While nipponicum stays the same, sometimes you’ll still find its genus listed as Leucanthemum, the shasta daisy family. Sometimes it’s Chrysanthemum. All three are part of the huge Asteraceae or Compositae clan.

Closeup of same plant, three weeks later

Botanical names can be crazymaking.

If you have a well-drained, sunny spot and have room for a vigorous late-bloomer, keep your eyes open for this one. Its woody branches can be kept compact by spring pruning and summer pinching. Carol T. Bradford also discusses the plant in her gardening column on Syracuse.com.

An online search doesn’t reveal a Toronto-area  source for Montauk or Nippon daisies. If you know of one, we’d like to hear from you.

Or befriend that neighbour one street over. Montauk daisies are said to be easy to root from cuttings.


  1. Very interesting – they look like something you'd see in California instead of a cold climate. My 'Esther Reed' daisies put on a nice show in October, which I wasn't expecting. Always nice to be surprised with extra flowers!

  2. Hi Helen,

    Yes, they are easy to root from cuttings, if a little slow to bulk up. And I have seen them at Plantworld. Now is the time to start asking nurseries to stock them for next Spring.

  3. These are very common here in the Boston area…The first time I saw their blooms pop up everywhere in early October I was rather startled because I had never seen them in Michigan.

  4. As soon as I saw the picture pop up, I said, Oh! Montauk daisies! I don't see them anywhere here in the PNW, but they were very common when I lived in the Boston area. I hope you find a source for them, their lushness just when things are dying back is so welcome!

  5. I am quite * pleased you mentioned this plant. It is the ultimate Jekyll and Hyde plant. Lovely to have flower this late, good glossy leaves but if you omit the cutting back in May then it is a hideous sprawling monster with gangly naked limbs.

    * Only 'quite' pleased because I too have just written an ,as yet unpublished, blog on the subject and you beat me to the tape!

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