Annuals for Your Garden: Dahlberg Daisy

Ilona Erwin

Thymophylla tenuiloba, The Dahlberg Daisy

A tiny annual plant that goes by this big name is one of the plants that I like to use every year. It make a fine fringe along a path or a lacy spill of golden flowers in a container. Nothing is better for a Fairy Garden, and it even pops up between the flagstones, occasionally proving hardy enough for this Ohio zone 5 climate.

3 Important Things To Know About Dahlberg Daisies

  1. Native to Texas, hardy in Zone 11; grown as an annual elsewhere.
  2. Can self-seed, although not reliably in Ohio
  3. Late to bloom unless started indoors early in the season.

Description of Dahlberg Daisies

The Look

Dahlberg daisy plant, in October

Dahlberg daisy plant

A very pretty little plant with bright green ferny foliage and little golden yellow daisies that simply cover the plant for a long period of bloom. The plant itself forms a low mound, and will spill over the sides of containers and onto the edges of the border. They are somewhat trailing, but more compact than other flowers like the blue lobelias, Lobelia erinus (which make a nice companion).

Low Maintenance
Drought Tolerant
Easy to grow

Their leaves are so finely divided that they resemble green thread. Some say they are fragrant, but I didn’t find the scent noticeable.

This is one of those plants of “many names” aka Dyssodia tenuiloba, and commonly called Dahlberg daisy or Golden fleece.

It grows to about 10 or 12 inches high and wide. The seedheads are miniscule little brown broom looking sorts of things, easily removed. If not kept watered (although Thymophylla tenuiloba is a drought tolerant plant), it will start to go to seed quickly. Just trim them off and keep it watered better to provide a new wave of bloom.

The Dahlberg daisies bloom long into the fall, much like the Calendulas. Especially when they are grown in the midst of stones or sheltered by other plants. Eventually they succumb to frost, but not without a cheery last hurrah.

How Thymophylla Tenuiloba Is Grown

[Garden Guide]
Good growing practices:

  • Dry to medium soil is fine, likes moisture, but needs good drainage.
  • Sunny to partly shady.
  • Surface sow seed, needs light to germinate.
Starting Dahlberg Daisies From Seed Indoors

Sow seeds indoors 8 to 10 weeks before last frost, press seeds into the soil surface lightly. Keep moist until they germinate. Once the daisy plants develop two sets of their true leaves you can transplant them where they are to grow.

Starting Dahlberg Daisies Outdoors

Sow outside in prepared soil after all frost danger is past, or plant transplant seedlings at that time.

*When available in garden centers and nurseries, I find this plant is snapped up quickly, probably because those tiny little flowers are so hard to resist.

Native to south central Texas and northern Mexico, this is a prairie plant.

Garden Styles

Perfect for garden containers, pretty along walkways, good for the front of borders. Small stature and diminutive in all its parts makes Dahlberg daiies very nice for Fairy Gardens. Excellent in Cottage gardens, and -as a native plant- good for prairie or New American garden beds. Cheerful and easy for Children’s gardens.

A good plant for hot, south-facing slopes, and tucks nicely into a rock garden.

Plant Facts

[Fun Facts]

Thymophylla tenuiloba can be used as ground cover, with 5000 seeds covering 100 square feet.

Thymophylla refers to “thyme-like” foliage and the plant was once named “Dyssodia”, a group of daisy-flowered plants, and Hymenatherum tenuilobum.

Prairie plants

Additional resources

Excellent resource books on Annuals
Houston Texas Garden BookArmitage AnnualsGrow Annuals From Seed

Dahlberg Daisy Seeds
2000 Dahlberg Daisy Seeds

More Links
Designing With Annuals
Growing Annuals

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Ilona Erwin, author

Meet the Author

Ilona Erwin

I started working on this website beginning in 1998, when it was part of Ilona's Reflecting Pool. Since then I've branched out into a number of online endeavors and work at writing lots of content for my sites. "Ilona's Garden" remains my primary site and is dedicated to home gardener's success.