Blooming Right Now: Straggler Daisy (calyptocarpus vialis)

We do not have a proper green-grass lawn. In fact most of the things growing in our yard are “weeds” of some sort. Some are nasty and unwanted (sand spurs), others are wildflowers (wanted) and the more persistent of the lot is the straggler daisy.

Straggler Daisy 3Straggler Daisy (calyptocarpus vialis), also known as Horse Herb, is a members of the Aster family and it  grows really well with some rain and thrives in the shade or dappled light. It also spreads easily, sometimes in places I just don’t want it. Some people consider it a pest, but I am happy to have it.

It is mainly in the backyard.  It is a low-growing plant (1-12″) and the stems can get as long as 12″. I can’t quite tell how it travels throughout the yard, I believe it propagates through the seeds from the flower.

Straggler Daisy 1In the Spring, or if we have had some regular rains, it is a welcome sight. If it weren’t for the Straggler Daisy, there wouldn’t be a whole lot of green out there. Not only that, but the bees and butterflies appreciate it also.

Do you have a “weed” that you don’t mind growing in your yard?

Sincerely, Emily

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12 Responses to Blooming Right Now: Straggler Daisy (calyptocarpus vialis)

  1. Nancy Davis says:

    No, most of the weeds in our lawn we really don’t want there! But then I have not learned to eat the weeds that are okay to eat yet. Nancy.

    • Hi Nancy! I know there are edible “weeds” in my yard and I do pick and use some of them when they are out there – dandelion and plantain and purslane. This straggler Daisy does take over, and if it can overtake the nasty sandspurs I am fine with that.

  2. I’ll admit that I have a love hate relationship with straggler daisy (I’m more fond of calling it horseherb, but straggler daisy works). Calyptocarpus vialis is one of our very common native “weeds.” It grows everywhere. So, generally, when I don’t want it in a garden bed, it gets yanked. But it’s also a really great groundcover for sun or shade, and it has these pretty little yellow flowers. And I just learned from my neighbor Mary that there’s another reason to love it. It seems to outcompete Bermuda grass, which I loathe, so leaving straggler daisy growing in flower beds and lawns can help get rid of that nasty stuff.

    • HI Allison – thanks for stopping by. Right now I am more on the love end of the relationship with horseherb. I have worked hard over the past three years to get it out of the herb and flower beds, but it took a while to make headway. I know if I keep up with it that it isn’t so hard, it’s when I let it go for a while that I have to work harder at it. In fact I would like to start transplanting it in different areas of the lawn to get it going there faster in hopes to weed out other unwanted things.

      Your blog is in a foreign language to me… what part of the world do you live?

  3. Joanna says:

    our tiny lawn is a patchwork of daisies and dandelions and various sorts of lawn grass where we have resown it over the years where the dogs have peed. I saw this year that one of the geraniums has got in there too. I was listening to the radio this morning and they were talking about a grass free lawn that had been made in a park in London – maybe you could make one of those? I think it was designed in response to a year of drought we had here…
    but I rabbit on… here’s a quote from the news item about the lawn and its plants…
    ..’ its plants, which include daisies red-flowering clover, thyme, chamomile, pennyroyal and Corsican mint, create a “pollinator-friendly patchwork” – with 25% more insect life than that found in “traditionally managed grass lawns”.’

    • I’m laughing Joanna – my lawn is already grass free – unfortunately, it is all weeds of different sorts, but most of them are not very desirable… I might need to go plant some thyme and mint and let it take over…. that would smell devine!!! Darn, the mint woulddn’t tolerate our hot summer sun, but the thyme would…. maybe some oregano too…. Zeb could come over and roll in that and smell pretty good! Heck, I might roll it it too. Your lawn sounds nice with its patches of daisies and dandelions. I let the yard grow in the spring when it is full of different wildflowers. Lovely! They are gone now, but wonderful while they last. Slowly, Slowly, I will keep taking over bits of “lawn with planting and mulching, etc.

  4. I’ve never seen straggler daisy before, what an incredible groundcover. I can see why you don’t mind it so much. If it gets out of control, is it fairly easy to pull out?

    • Hi Sheryl, I think it is a bit chilly up in your area for the straggler daisy. I am sure you have other things that grow well, that would faint at the thought of growing down here in a So.Texas summer! It would be a lot of work if I wanted to get it out of any area of lawn where it is growing. I have only worked on getting it out of the herb and flower beds. It took time and I used a trowel to get as much of the root as I could – in those areas if the ground is moist it comes up pretty well. I think there were a lot of seeds waiting to sprout so I worked at it each year and now it is fine as long as I get at them as the sprout up. I also keep amending the soils in the gardens 2x a year so the soil there isn’t such a hard clay that they yard it where it grows, I would need to wait for a rain to loosen it up or it is like digging in concrete.

  5. Elisabeth says:

    Hi Emily!
    Some weeds and clovers have adorable little flowers on so I just cannot pull them out. lol It’s so good to know other people also like them and/or spend some time admiring them 🙂
    I also love fruit and salad blossoms. I posted some photos I’ve taken in my garden in my FB profile.

  6. Can a PERSON eat Horse Herb/Strangler Daisey???

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