The unassuming yet enchanting Shasta daisy stands out in the garden, demonstrating its surprising resilience to dry spells. Esteemed horticulturist Troy Rhone shares some engaging anecdotes about Shasta daisy, highlights his preferred types, suggests ideal companion flora, and delivers practical advice on daisy upkeep.
Shasta daisies can trace their lineage back to the creative pursuits of Luther Burbank, a gardener hailing from Massachusetts, who engineered the successful fusion of this species (Leucanthemum x superbum) in 1890. His pursuit of cultivating the brightest and most radiant bloom for his Californian garden led to the inception of a flower that sparkles under the moonlight. The resultant crossbreed between a Japanese and an American daisy variant culminated in a stunningly white flower. Paying homage to Mount Shasta's snowy peaks, Burbank christened his creation 'Shasta.'
The Shasta daisy's story didn't end in Burbank's garden. After almost eight decades, a version of Burbank's plant reemerged in Atlanta, thanks to the keen eyes of Ida Mae, a local florist and nursery operator.
Ida Mae often offered clumps of 'Becky' to her patrons, either for their own gardens or as part of her floral creations. In a memorable instance, Mae’s daughter, Mary Ann Gatlin, gifted a clump of these daisies to her acquaintance, Becky Stewart.
While exploring Stewart's garden in the mid-1980s, plant enthusiast Bill Funkhouser stumbled upon this unique daisy. Unable to find an existing botanical name for this plant, he decided to name it ‘Becky’ in tribute to Becky Stewart.
Simultaneously, two other botanists also attempted to christen the same flower. Bud Heist, a nurseryman, who received the flower from the Gatlins, was cultivating it under the name 'Ida Mae.' At the same time, Ryan Gainey, a correspondent for Flower magazine, named it 'Ryan’s Daisy.'
Funkhouser's later association with White Flower Farms in Connecticut helped 'Becky' gain recognition and distribution across the nation, culminating in its selection as the 2003 Plant Perennial of the Year.
Shasta daisies come in an array of forms, but a few deserve specific attention:
Shasta daisies are low-maintenance flora:
Here are a few plants that beautifully complement Shasta daisies:
Even as we celebrate the versatility of Shasta Daisies outdoors, we shouldn't forget the allure of indoor greenery. To aid you in curating a lush indoor garden, check out our detailed guide on Indoor Plants: A Comprehensive Guide for Selection and Care. It provides a wealth of information on choosing the right plants for your indoor environment and offers crucial tips on their maintenance. So while you're letting your Shasta Daisies dance in the moonlight, remember you can also create an enticing green retreat inside your home.
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