Bushy seaside oxeye

Pictured above: Bushy sea oxeye (Borrichia frutescens) by Mary Keim. Click on terms for botanical definitions. View post as a PDF.

Known by many common names such as sea-oxeye daisy, sea marigold, beach carnation, seaside tansy and silver sea-oxeye, bushy seaside oxeye (Borrichia frutescens) is a perennial small to medium shrub with attractive daisy-like blooms. Each flower is comprised of 15-30 yellow ray florets surrounding many stiff yellow-orange disk florets with conspicuous black anthers. Flowers are approximately 1 inch in diameter. Leaves are oval to lanceolate and may be toothed toward their base, but otherwise have entire margins. They are grayish-green and pubescent, giving the foliage a silvery sheen. The fruit is a dark-colored cypsela and contains a single seed.

Salt Marsh Skipper on Bushy sea oxeye. Photo by Mary Keim

Bushy seaside oxeye occurs naturally in coastal strands, mangroves, beach dunes, salt marshes and tidal flats. It is very attractive to butterflies and other pollinators as it can bloom year-round. Its seeds provide food for birds and other small wildlife.

Family: Asteraceae (Aster, composite or daisy family)
Native range: All peninsular coastal counties from Duval to Taylor, as well as Wakulla, Franklin, Bay and Santa Rosa
Click here to see where natural populations of bushy seaside oxeye have been vouchered.
Hardiness: Zone 8B–11
Soil: Moist to very dry, well-drained soils
Exposure: Full sun to minimal shade
Growth habit: 3–4’+ tall
Propagation: Seeds, cuttings
Garden tips: Bushy seaside oxeye is highly drought- and salt-tolerant and can withstand occasional saltwater inundation. It works well as a border planting and in a mixed wildflower garden. It is rhizomatous and can form colonies.

Bushy seaside oxeye plants are often available from nurseries that specialize in Florida native plants. Visit www.plantrealflorida.org to find a nursery in your area.