Lakeside Daisy

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Lakeside Daisy

Hymenoxys herbacea

ListedJune 23, 1988
FamilyCompositae (Asteraceae)
DescriptionPerennial with thick, spatula-shaped leaves and solitary bright yellow flowers.
HabitatPrairie grassland.
ThreatsLimestone quarrying, plant succession.
RangeIllinois, Michigan, Ohio; Ontario, Canada


Lakeside daisy, Hymenoxys herbacea (=acaulis var. glabra), is a low-growing perennial with thick, spatula-shaped or nearly linear bright green leaves. This daisy puts up a leafless flower stalk, from 2-10 in (5-25 cm) high, which supports a solitary flower with a central disk and 10-30 yellow rays. Flowers bloom in late April to mid-May. After flowering, the plant turns a light gray color. The green coloration may return in a few weeks, most likely in response to increases in moisture.


The species, which requires an open, sunny site for survival, occurs on dry, rocky, prairie grassland, typically underlain by limestone strata. Although the Ohio and Canadian populations occur adjacent to the Great Lakes, the Lakeside in the daisy's name refers to the town of Lakeside, Ohio, near one of the best-known daisy sites. Several historic sites are in inland Illinois counties.


The wide geographic separation of known Lakeside daisy sites suggests that the species was once widespread in prairie grassland habitats throughout the Midwestern United States and north along the Canadian shore of Lake Huron.

In Ontario, Canada, the Lakeside daisy is considered rare. It is known from 12 sites on Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron and from the Bruce Peninsula, where the largest population is found on a 10-acre (4.05-hectare) site. Although there are no current population figures, botanists believe that the Canadian population is stable.

A single population, now fragmented into seven scattered sites, is found near the town of Lakeside on the Marblehead Peninsula in Ottawa County, Ohio. There are no current population estimates for this population. The daisy was apparently eliminated altogether from Will and Tazewell Counties of north-central Illinois, but a reintroduction plan is underway.


Lakeside daisy populations in Ohio continue to be threatened by limestone quarrying. Marblehead Peninsula has been quarried for the past 150 years, which has reduced the daisy's habitat to pockets. Recently, the pace of quarrying has intensified.

Another potential threat comes from over-eager gardening buffs. The showy nature of this plant's flowers and its high transplant success make it vulnerable to overcollecting for commercial or private use, and several nurseries in Ohio and Illinois provide Lakeside daisy seeds.

Conservation and Recovery

In 1988 the Ohio Division of Natural Areas and Preserves (ODNAP) acquired 19 acres (7.7 hectares) of prime Lakeside daisy habitat with funds generated by the Natural Areas Tax Checkoff Program. The ODNAP also relocated a number of daisies that would otherwise have been destroyed. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has provided about US$15,000 to the state of Ohio to assist in this effort, and the area is being well-managed as a Lakeside daisy preserve.

But because the plant is easily grown in cultivation, the FWS's Recovery Plan stresses establishing a cultivated population with seeds or plants from Canadian and Ohio sites. The Illinois Department of Conservation owns the area in Tazewell County where the plant formerly existed and has already suggested that the Lakeside daisy be returned to its historic site there.


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Regional Office of Endangered Species
Federal Building
Ft. Snelling, Minnesota 55111


Cusick, A. W., and J. F. Burns. 1984. "Hymenoxys acaulis. " In R. M. McCance Jr. and J. F. Burns, eds., Ohio Endangered and Threatened Vascular Plants. Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Columbus.

White, D. J., and R. V. Maher. 1983. "Hymenoxys acaulis var. glabra." In G. W. Argus and D. J. White, eds., Atlas of the Rare Vascular Plants of Ontario. National Museum of Natural Sciences, Ottawa.

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Lakeside Daisy

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