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Nikolai Lobanov
Nikolai Lobanov

Oxeye ##TOP##


Oxeye daisy is found in grasslands, overgrazed pastures, waste areas, meadows, railroad rights-of-way and roadsides. Please click here to see a county level distribution map of oxeye daisy in Washington.




oxeye



In the Western and Pacific United States, oxeye daisy is found in pastures and meadows, but it also grows along roadsides, in abandoned fields, and in waste areas. Oxeye daisy will grow in neutral or basic soils, with optimal growth in soils ranging from 6.5 to 7.0 pH. It is usually found in moist areas, but will tolerate drought, once established, and light frost. Oxeye daisy forms dense stands decreasing plant diversity and limiting grazing options as palatable forage species are crowded out.


Always clean seed and plant parts from equipment and vehicles after being in an infested area. Clean boots, pants and other clothing too. Inspect and clean the feet/hooves and coats/fleeces of domestic animals when they have moved through infested areas. Sow only clean, weed-free certified seed. Do not sow wildflower seed mixes containing oxeye daisy.


Hoe or hand-pull seedlings and young plants (Figure 3) for effective control of small patches and stands. This is most effective when done before oxeye daisy flowers and seed is dispersed. This prevents reinvasion by seedlings. Larger infestations require repeated cutting and pulling during the growing season for several years to effectively reduce oxeye daisy. Mowing oxeye daisy will not eradicate the weed, but it limits the spread of seed, when timed properly.


Re-establishment of desirable vegetation is needed in order to successfully manage oxeye daisy. Perennial grasses are effective competitors, particularly tall species that shade oxeye daisy, making it a weaker plant. Light grazing encourages growth of grasses and keeps pastures and rangeland vigorous. Overgrazing an area reduces competition and encourages oxeye daisy recruitment. Grazing sheep or goats over many years is effective, and probably most effective in combination with an integrated herbicide and replanting regimen.


Because oxeye daisy is not a superior competitor for nutrients, some researchers believe fertilizer applied in combination with herbicides will enhance the growth of grasses and hinder oxeye daisy performance. In a mountain meadow in eastern Washington, nitrogen applied at 80 lbs/acre (with no herbicide) was the most cost-effective chemical treatment for oxeye daisy. Forage production increased by 500 percent when a high level of nitrogen fertilizer was applied. Oxeye daisy was still present, but its impact was greatly diminished.


In Montana, Lewis and Clark County was the first to report oxeye daisy in 1890. As of 2017, oxeye daisy occurrence has been reported in more than half of the counties in Montana, mostly in the western half of the state (Figure 1). Typically invading upland pastures and meadows, oxeye daisy is also a problem along roadsides, railway embankments, waterways, abandoned croplands, waste areas, woodlands, gardens, lawns, and rangelands in Montana. Oxeye daisy grows in a wide range of soil textures and tends to be more abundant on poorer soils. This weed may have a low tolerance for shading by other vegetation since it is seldom noticed in ungrazed or lightly grazed grasslands.


The full extent of ecological, environmental, economical, and sociological impacts of oxeye daisy are not well documented. The greatest impact of oxeye daisy is on forage production of infested pastures and meadows. Because cattle avoid grazing oxeye daisy, carrying capacity of heavily infested pastures is reduced when cattle are the primary grazers. Dense stands of oxeye daisy can decrease plant diversity and increase the amount of bare soil in an area. In cultivated areas, oxeye daisy serves as a host and reservoir for several species of gall-forming nematodes that feed on crops.


Scentless chamomile (Anthemis arvensis) and Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum ) look very similar to oxeye daisy. However, chamomile is an annual plant with smaller flowers and much more finely dissected leaves. Scentless chamomile is also non-native and may be invasive in some areas. Shasta daisy, a non-native ornamental plant, usually grows 6 to 12 inches taller than oxeye daisy, has larger flower heads, and basal leaves are not as and may have toothed edges (margins).


Because oxeye daisy is such a showy, pretty plant, proper management is often neglected. Education and awareness, prevention practices, and a combination of control methods are important components of an effective management approach.


As with other weeds, preventing establishment and minimizing spread is critical. Practices such as prescribed grazing and nutrient management will help encourage competitive desired plants, improve control efforts, and reduce the establishment and spread of oxeye daisy. It is important to minimize the amount of bare soil exposed by farming, haying practices or livestock grazing, and avoid transporting weed seeds from infested sites to uninfested sites. Oxeye daisy is sometimes an ingredient in wildflower seed mixes, so consumers should read labels carefully.


TABLE 1. Examples of herbicides that can be used to manage oxeye daisy. Consult herbicide labels for additional rate, application, and safety information. Additional information can be found at


Once oxeye daisy is established, persistent mowing, chemical applications, and prescribed grazing can effectively control populations. Integrating various techniques will give the best control. Because oxeye daisy seeds remain viable in the seedbank for many years, persistent treatment and preventing seed production over many years is necessary.


Two management methods, prescribed burning and biological control, are not feasible options for oxeye daisy. Prescribed burning is not recommended for controlling oxeye daisy as fire may increase vulnerability of a site to invasion by exposing bare mineral soil. Biological control agents are not currently available in North America for managing oxeye daisy.


Mowing may reduce oxeye daisy seed production if plants are mowed as soon as flower buds appear. Mowing may have to be repeated during a long growing season because mowing may stimulate shoot production and subsequent flowering. Mowing can be combined with nutrient treatment if used on pastures infested with oxeye daisy. Mowing may improve herbicide contact with rosettes. Haying may favor oxeye daisy.


Hand pulling and grubbing (i.e. digging up roots) may be practical for controlling small populations of oxeye daisy. Root systems are shallow and the plant can be dug up and removed. Hand removal should be continued for several years because remaining roots may sprout and seedlings will continue to emerge from the soil seedbank.


Tilling destroys the shallow root system of oxeye daisy, thus it is not normally a problem in cultivated crop fields. It is possible to spread root fragments and seeds within and between crop fields, so cleaning tillage equipment is very important. However, cultivating is not possible in many pastures, rangelands and roadside areas.


Grazing, depending on how it is applied, can either exacerbate or suppress oxeye daisy invasions. Horses, sheep, and goats will readily graze oxeye daisy, but cattle and pigs avoid it. Prescribed grazing management using multiple livestock species can be timed to maintain the vigor of rangeland plants and reduce oxeye daisy establishment and spread. Effective grazing programs for oxeye daisy suppression include short-duration, high-intensity grazing with cattle prior to flower production, followed by grazing with goats or sheep to consume remaining oxeye daisy plants. 041b061a72


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