Lakeside daisy (Tetraneuris herbacea)

Lakeside daisies

Top facts

  • The Lakeside daisy is named after Lakeside in Ohio, one of the best-known locations in which this species is found.
  • A small perennial plant, the Lakeside daisy produces bright yellow flowers with a golden yellow centre.
  • The Lakeside daisy grows in open, sunny grassland areas with a limestone substrate.
  • The flowering period of the Lakeside daisy is relatively short, lasting only a week or so.
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Lakeside daisy fact file

Lakeside daisy description

GenusTetraneuris (1)

The Lakeside daisy (Tetraneuris herbacea) is named for Lakeside in Ohio, which is one of the best-known sites that is inhabited by this species, although it also grows in other Great Lakes states (4). A small herbaceous, perennial plant (2) (3) (5) in the Aster family (2), the Lakeside daisy produces daisy-like flowers (3) consisting of bright yellow ray florets and golden yellow disk florets (2). Each flower has between 10 and 30 double-notched petals (6), and grows solitarily on a stout, hairy, leafless stalk (3) (6). These stalks become longer throughout the flowering period, reaching up to 40 centimetres in height by the time the plant’s seeds are dispersed (3). Each Lakeside daisy plant produces up to ten flowering stems (2).

The dark green leaves of the Lakeside daisy (2) (3) are lance shaped (2) (3) (6) or narrow at the base with a broader tip (2), and are thick, rubbery (6) and dotted with perforations (3). These leaves stem from a short, thick, branching base, and can grow up to 16 centimetres in length. The Lakeside daisy produces small, top-shaped, hairy achenes (3).

Also known as
eastern fournerved daisy, four-nerved starflower, Manitoulin gold, stemless four-nerved daisy, stemless hymenoxys, stemless rubberweed.
Actinea herbacea, Actinea scaposa, Actinella scaposa, Hymenoxys acaulis, Hymenoxys herbacea.
Height: up to 35 cm (2)
Leaf length: up to 16 cm (3)

Lakeside daisy biology

The Lakeside daisy is a perennial herb (3) (5) that has a relatively narrow flowering period (3) of just a week or so (6) in the spring (2). In the Lakeside Daisy State Nature Preserve in Ohio, this species is known to be in bloom from late April to mid-May (6), whereas the colony in Michigan tends to flower between late May and early June (3). The flower heads of the Lakeside daisy turn throughout the day to follow the path of the sun across the sky (6).

An inhabitant of dry grassland (3) (4) (6), the Lakeside daisy has thick, rubbery leaves which can store water, enabling the plant to survive droughts (2).

The Lakeside daisy is typically pollinated by bumble bees (Bombus species), small carpenter bees (Ceratina species) and halictid bees (Halictidae), although wind pollination may also occur (3) (6). The seeds of the Lakeside daisy are scattered by the wind (2), dispersing much like those of dandelions (6). Interestingly, the Lakeside daisy is also capable of reproducing vegetatively through rhizomes growing from its tap-root, which is a large, relatively straight root (6).


Lakeside daisy range

The Lakeside daisy is endemic to the Great Lakes region of North America (2) (3), only being found in Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and Ontario (2) (5) (6). This species is globally rare, but it is locally common in Ontario where 95 percent of the Lakeside daisy population is found (2).

In Ohio, the Lakeside daisy is only known from the Marblehead Peninsula area in the northern part of the state, while in Michigan this species is restricted to a single, small colony in the Upper Peninsula. This species was known historically from two sites in Illinois, but now only occurs in the state as three restored populations (3).


Lakeside daisy habitat

The Lakeside daisy is typically found in dry, rocky, prairie grassland over limestone (3) (4) (6) in areas characterised by a thin soil layer (2), although it is also known to occur on limestone or dolomite cliffs near the Lake Huron shore (3). Prime Lakeside daisy habitat is kept open and sunny (2) (4) (6) by natural disturbances such as flooding (6), drought and fire which prevent woody trees and shrubs from growing and shading out the small plant (2) (3).


Lakeside daisy status

The Lakeside daisy has yet to be classified on the IUCN Red List.


Lakeside daisy threats

The Lakeside daisy is one of the Great Lakes region’s rarest plants (3). Habitat destruction as a result of limestone quarrying and development in rural areas poses the greatest threat to this species (2) (4) (6). Fire suppression may also put this plant at risk (4) (6), as the elimination of wildfires enables the expansion of trees and shrubs which then shade out this sun-dependent species (4). Additional threats to the Lakeside daisy include harvesting by collectors (4) (6) and trampling as a result of human recreational activities (2) (6).


Lakeside daisy conservation

The Lakeside daisy is listed as Federally Threatened in the United States, and is classified as State Threatened in Michigan (3). This species receives additional protection as a result of its listing under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act and the Canadian Federal Species at Risk Act (2). Recovery strategies have been developed for the conservation of the Lakeside daisy in the United States (3) and Ontario (2), and land was purchased upon which the Lakeside Daisy State Nature Preserve has been established (6).

Recommended measures for the conservation of the Lakeside daisy include the control of exotic plant species (3) (6) and the management of herbivores such as rabbits and deer, as well as conducting research into the species’ seed ecology to better understand population maintenance (6). In addition, the protection of the Lakeside daisy’s highly fragile remnant colony in Michigan should be made a priority (3).


Find out more

Find out more about the Lakeside daisy:



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A simple single-seeded fruit that falls from the plant in one piece. Achenes usually in occur in clusters.
A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
A small, non-woody, seed bearing plant in which all the aerial parts die back at the end of each growing season.
Describes a small, non-woody, seed bearing plant in which all the aerial parts die back at the end of each growing season.
A plant that normally lives for more than two years. After an initial period, the plant usually produces flowers once a year.
To transfer pollen grains from the stamen (male part of a flower) to the stigma (female part of a flower) of a flowering plant. This usually leads to fertilisation, the development of seeds and, eventually, a new plant.
The transfer of pollen grains from the stamen (male part of a flower) to the stigma (female part of a flower) of a flowering plant. This usually leads to fertilisation, the development of seeds and, eventually, a new plant.
An extensive area of flat or rolling, predominantly treeless grassland, especially the large tract or plain of central North America.
An underground, horizontal plant stem that produces roots and shoots.
A large central root.
Vegetative reproduction
Type of asexual reproduction (reproduction that does not involve the formation of sex cells) in which a new plant grows from part of another plant, rather than from seeds or spores. The resulting individual is genetically identical to the original plant.


  1. Species 2000 and ITIS Catalogue of Life (December, 2013)
  2. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources - Lakeside Daisy (March, 2014)
  3. Michigan Natural Features Inventory - Lakeside daisy (April, 2014)
  4. U.S.Fish & Wildlife Service - Lakeside Daisy (April, 2014)
  5. United States Department of Agriculture: Natural Resources Conservation Service - Eastern fournerved daisy (April, 2014)
  6. Center for Plant Conservation - Tetraneuris herbacea (April, 2014)

Image credit

Lakeside daisies  
Lakeside daisies

© Aaron Woods

Aaron Woods


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