The Golden Marguerite is a simple, yet elegant flower that is known by many names, including Yellow Chamomile, Yellow Daisy, Indian tea, Paris Daisy, Dyer’s Chamomile, and Boston Daisy.
Marguerite is the French name for Daisy, and we find it quite charming. In horticulture, this delightful flower is called Cota tinctoria, although it is often referred to as Anthemis tinctoria.
Are all these names a bit confusing? Not to worry, many people believe that the Golden Marguerite is the same as the classic Chamomile used for brewing tea.
In fact, the two are different species. Chamomile is a common name for daisy-like plants belonging to the family Asteraceae, but when it comes to chamomile tea, Anthemis nobilis and Matricaria recutita are the two species that are normally used.
That being said, you can use Golden Marguerite plants for the purpose of tea brewing (Indian tea), although many gardeners choose it for its attractive lacy foliage and bright flowers that resemble miniature sunflowers. Moreover, it is low maintenance, makes an excellent border plant for the garden, and looks amazing in bouquets of vase arrangements.
Do you want to know more about this perky flower? Keep reading our guide and you will find out everything about its unique features, ornamental uses, growing and caring tips, propagation, and more!
About Golden Marguerite
- 1 About Golden Marguerite
- 2 Golden Marguerite Features: An Overview
- 3 Growing Golden Marguerite
- 4 Planting Golden Marguerite
- 5 Watering Golden Marguerite
- 6 Propagating Golden Marguerite
- 7 In conclusion
- Cota tinctoria is a species of perennial flower that belongs to the chamomile-daisy tribe, which is part of the sunflower family (Asteraceae). Its sisters are the field chamomile (Anthemis arvensis), the stinking chamomile (Anthemis cotula), and the Ruthenian chamomile (Anthemis ruthenica).
- There are over 20,000 species and over 1,500 genera belonging to the family Asteraceae, considered the largest of the flowering plants. Asteraceae, alternatively Compositae, is within the order Asterales. Some of the most well-known members of this large family are daisy, lettuce, dandelion, and artichoke. Compositae was the original name for Asteraceae, first described by Dutch botanist Adriaan van Royen in 1740.
- The word “marguerite” comes from French and is derived from the old Greek word “margarite”, meaning pearl. The word “daisy” is derived from the Old English “daeges eage” which means day’s eye or dawn. This term refers to the plant’s habit of opening its petals in the morning and closing them at night.
- The Golden Marguerite grows in all kinds of environments, such as embankments, on dry grass, and even along roadsides. This low-maintenance plant prefers shallow stone floors, loamy soils, loose sand, and nitrogenous soil. It is a good choice for dry gardens with poor soils, adding long-lasting colour and life in areas where it is normally difficult to grow flowers. Moreover, it is an excellent addition to a xeric garden.
- The Golden Marguerite is not a long-lived perennial and is often treated as a biennial by gardeners. It bears beautiful yellow flowers in spring that fade away once the weather cools down. However, the plant easily reseeds itself if the location is suitable and thus produces new plants. In spring, plant division is possible as well.
- The Golden Marguerite is native to Europe and the Mediterranean area, but also Western Asia. It is often found in parts of North America where it has become naturalized over time. However, USDA reports it as an escaped weed in mountainous regions and nearly all Northern states, but not in Southern regions.
- Nowadays, Cota tinctoria is mainly grown for its attractive golden flowers and feathery, aromatic foliage. Many years ago, it was a very popular tea used for its medicinal purposes. Surprisingly, it is the traditional beverage of numerous Spanish New Mexicans. The plant was boiled and consumed to relieve indigestion, reduce fevers, as a vermifuge, and as a mild diuretic. However, there is no scientific evidence to support its effectiveness for these ailments.
- Besides being used as a medicinal plant, Cota tinctoria was an important source of natural yellow dyes for textiles and baskets in Medieval times. Dyer’s Chamomile seeds have been found in excavation sites in Finland dating back to the 14th Surprisingly, the dye holds up well on the fabric when washed, although it is not as lightfast as commercial dyes. If you are into DIY projects, you can experiment and use it to dye natural fabrics such as wool or cotton!
- The Cota tinctoria ‘E.C. Buxton’ cultivar won the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit. It is also part of the “Plants for Pollinators” initiative that encourages gardeners to support the pollinator populations by growing more plants that provide nectar and pollen for native bees, butterflies, and hoverflies that can become frequent visitors in your garden.
- Pests are not a frequent concern when it comes to this versatile plant, but you might find that aphids, slugs, or snails might be tempted to snack on the leaves and stems of golden marguerite plants. You can easily get rid of aphids by washing the plants with a garden hose. If the aphid invasion is persistent, repeat the process until all the intruders have been removed. The easiest and most eco-friendly way to get rid of snails and slugs that much on your garden plants is by picking them up by hand. We know it’s not ideal, but it works.
- Although Cota tinctoria has many different uses, grazing animals avoid the consumption of this colourful plant. The main reason is the bitter-tasting foliage of the plant, but it might also have something to do with its toxicity. We couldn’t find details about whether or not this plant is poisonous to pets, but it’s best to be cautious and treat it as a potentially toxic plant just to be on the safe side.
Golden Marguerite Features: An Overview
- The Golden Marguerite is a herbaceous plant that grows in aromatic mounds to a height of 2 feet (60 cm) with flowers and a spread of 2-3 feet (60-90 cm).
- The thin, erect, angular stems branch out frequently near the base and can become woody. They are light greyish-green and fairly covered with short, fine hairs. The stems carry yellow terminal flower heads that bloom profusely during summer.
- Its bright green foliage is finely textured and has a faint aroma similar to the common chamomile varieties. The alternate serrate leaves are deeply divided but not fully divided to the tip. They are moderately covered on both surfaces with soft hair. In alternate plants, there is only one leaf per node that alternately ascend in a spiral.
- Cota tinctoria has pinnate-pinnatifid leaves reminding of a fern or a feather. Most fern species possess pinnate leaf structures. The upper leaves are nearly sessile while the lower laves display flat petioles.
- Unlike its cousin Chamaemelum nobile (chamomile) which has white petals, Cota tinctoria produces flowers with deep yellow petals and a yellow disc floret in the centre of the bloom.
- Cota tinctoria’s golden flowerheads each consist of 20-32 fertile ray florets surrounded by a cluster of perfect disk florets. Planted in the garden, they will look like a miniature sunflower field at your feet.
- Just like with sunflowers, Cota tinctoria does not have a seedpod. All the tiny seeds are clustered together in a domed seedhead that often has dead petals still attached to spent blossoms. The plant is hermaphrodite and is pollinated mainly by bees.
- The Golden Marguerite is deer resistant and generally grazing animals avoid its consumption because of its bitter-tasting and potentially toxic foliage. Make sure your pets do not ingest any and look out for signs of contact dermatitis, allergies, vomiting, and diarrhoea.
- Although Dyer’s Chamomile leaves and flowers are safe for human consumption, verify if the plant hasn’t been sprayed with herbicides or pesticides. Be alerted that chamomile may trigger an allergic reaction in those who are allergic to ragweed.
Growing Golden Marguerite
To successfully grow Golden Marguerite, it is important to understand its preferences for temperature, light, water, and nutrients. Although it thrives on neglect and can grow in where other perennials would perish, it remains beautiful only if certain conditions are met.
The Golden Marguerite prefers temperate climates, but it can survive even if the temperature is relatively hot, like in the Southern regions of the United States.
However, south of zone 7 it will grow beautifully at first, but when the summer heat arrives it will whiter and become a mess. Also, keep in mind that this plat is not frost tender and won’t survive long cold spells. In climates with a mild winter, the plant can remain evergreen.
Cota tinctoria is a sun-loving plant so allow it to grow in full sun and warm locations in your garden. Ideally, it should receive a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight every day. Although it can tolerate part shade conditions, we do not advise planting it in a spot with full shade.
Another perk of growing Golden Marguerite is the fact that it is extremely drought-tolerant, and it can grow in hot areas.
Cota tinctoria makes a fine addition to full sun foundation borders, rock gardens, xeric gardens, and hot, sandy planting locations. You can pair it with other drought-tolerant plants such as lavender, California Poppy, Agastache, beardtongue (Penstemon), Crocosmia, Allium, Eryngium, Siberian spurge, autumn sage (Salvia greggii), Phlox, Bee Balm, Balloon Flower, Campanula, Geraniums, Yarrow.
To enjoy an attractive plant with abundant blooms all summer long and into early fall, we encourage you to deadhead after flowering. As flowers lose their petals, they begin focusing all their energy on forming seeds.
Deadheading helps the plant channel its energy into forming flowers, resulting in a second flush of blossoms in late summer or early fall. After the plant flowers for a second time, you can cut it back to about 6 inches (15 cm) tall to encourage basal growth and prevent it from setting seeds. Divide every two or three years before the growing season to ensure plant vigour.
- Marguerite Daisies are among the best choices for summer-long color in the sunny border. Plants form a bushy mound of ferny green foliage, bearing loads of small, but bright yellow daisies from early summer until frost season.
- These daisies grow as 30 inch tall perennials in USDA zones 3 - 7.
- Anthemis Tinctoria Kelwayi are free-flowering and offer an abundance of yellow daises all summer and fall for bouquets. Deadheading faded flowers regularly will greatly increase blooming time. Anthemis can be a short-lived perennial, but it will often reseed itself giving another display for next season.
- Start Marguerite Daisy seed indoors in spring. Or, after frost danger has passed, directly sow the seed outdoors. Cover the seed slightly with soil and keep it moist. Germination occurs with a temperature of 68F and is usually within 28 days.
- Sow 6 seeds per plant for a nice, full daisy plant with beautiful yellow flowers.
- Offering 20+ GOLDEN MARGUERITE seeds, packaged in a paper seed envelope.
- Germination and growing instructions are clearly displayed on each package for successful gardening every time.
- Grow plants for food or try gardening as new hobby
- Seeds make great gifts for all ages
Planting Golden Marguerite
The Golden Marguerite is not too picky when it comes to soil conditions. We love the fact that this plant can grow where other plants struggle. While it can successfully tolerate average and poor nutrient soils, urban pollution, and even salts, it does not appreciate soggy or heavy clay soils.
Cota tinctoria prefers loose, well-draining soil with neutral to alkaline pH levels. However, it does fine with sandy and even chalky soil conditions.
Keep in mind that if the soil is too moist or too rich in nutrients, the plant will form more leaves than flowers. Furthermore, if the soil is too fertilized, Cota tinctoria might get floppy and require staking.
Avoid planting it in humid conditions or low areas that are susceptible to standing water. Good drainage is key to the plant’s success. The plant is susceptible to powdery mildew, so make sure it has adequate airflow.
Nursery-grown transplants can be planted in spring or early summer. To encourage a vigorous root system, water them immediately after planting, and then every couple of weeks for the duration of the first growing season.
Seedlings should be planted about 6 to 8 inches (15-20 cm) apart. Close planting will help prevent weeds from growing in between them. Seedlings might require protection from snails and slugs, as they can eat a plant faster than it can grow. Until the plants are big enough, you can use organically approved slug pellets.
Watering Golden Marguerite
The Golden Marguerite does not usually need to be watered or fertilised. Although the plant can withstand prolonged stretches of dry weather, it will produce the most abundant blooms if watered regularly.
Keep in mind that the soil must be kept moist, but not soggy, as too much water can cause root rot and fungal disease. To avoid overwatering, allow the soil around the plant to dry out before giving it more water.
If you live in an area with frequent rainfalls, you won’t need to water your plants at all. If you have too much rainfall and your garden turns muddy, don’t panic! Raised beds and raised rows are a great solution. Elevating your planting area allows excess water to drain away from the roots.
The easiest way to create a raised bed is by mounding up the soil. Keep in mind that you will only be able to walk on the paths between the raised beds.
Another great idea is to place low box frames on the ground, tires, or build your own frames from concrete blocks or other materials.
A short-term problem can easily be fixed with trench funnelling. For an ongoing issue, we recommend a French drain. Go light on the mulch, as it can slow the soil from drying and create a habitat for slugs.
Propagating Golden Marguerite
If you enjoy Cota tinctoria’s vibrant blooms and fragrant foliage, you will be happy to know that it is very easy to spread it to different areas of your garden and share it with your loved ones. The plant can be propagated by three methods: division, sowing, and cuttings.
Propagating Golden Marguerite by Division
The ideal time to propagate Golden Marguerites by division is in the spring before the growing season begins. In fact, propagating by division is recommended every 2-3 years because the growth rate and habits of the plant demand it.
Start by digging up the plant, carefully not to damage its root system. Set the plant on the ground and use a clean, sharp gardening tool or knife to divide the parent plant into two or more equal parts. Make sure to include parts of the foliage and roots. The new transplants can be planted in pots or in a new location in the garden and should be generously watered.
Growing Golden Marguerite from Seeds
Another simple way to multiply the adorable Yellow Daisies is by seed. You can buy the seeds or collect them from spent flower heads that have lost their petals.
Mature plants will usually have ripe seeds by August. However, keep in mind that if you are growing a hybrid variety, they may display different characteristics than expected. Moreover, over a few years, the plants will revert to the wild type.
To separate the seeds from the chaff start by rubbing the dried flower heads over a container. Next, shake the container while gently blowing the chaff out. If you are growing different varieties of chamomile together, the plants will likely cross-pollinate.
To prevent this, keep them separated in different beds. Seeds have a good shelf life, so you can store them in a cool, dry location for more than three years.
We recommend starting the seeds indoors in seed starting mix about two months before the last frost. It will take between two weeks and a month to germinate. Surprisingly, Cota tinctoria seedlings are hardy so they can be transplanted outside before the last expected frost.
Excess seedlings can be kept for about a year without flowering. Alternatively, you can sow them directly at the desired location in April or May. Sow the seeds approximately 1/8 inch (0,3 cm) deep in evenly prepared soil. Although Cota tinctoria will self-seed, chances are that most tiny seedlings will be eaten by slugs.
Propagate Golden Marguerite through Cuttings
Another great way to propagate Golden Marguerite is by cuttings, and the only way to propagate hybrid varieties. To start, take 4-to-6-inch (10-15 cm) side stems from new growth in early summer. Make sure you use a sharp, sterilized knife to prevent any disease.
Cut half of an inch (1 cm) below a bud or leaf node and remove the bottom leaves, making sure to leave at least three upper leaves.
Next, choose a pot with drainage holes and fill it with potting mixture. Water the potting mixture so that it’s damp and while you prepare the cutting, allow it to drain. Roll the stem in powdered rooting hormone and make evenly spaced 1-inch (2,5 cm) holes in the container.
As long as the leaves don’t touch, you can plant several stems in the same container. Insert the stems in the holes and pat the soil around them enough so that they hold upright.
Make sure to cover the pot with a clear plastic bag and use small sticks to prevent the plastic from touching the leaves or stems. Place the container in indirect light, as direct light can damage the sensitive cuttings. If the potting soil becomes too dry, mist daily.
If there is too much condensation so that it drips down inside the pot, poke a few holes in the plastic to promote air circulation. Once new leaves appear, it means that your Golden Marguerite cuttings have rooted. You can now plant them in individual containers and allow them to develop until spring. Once the danger of frost has passed, feel free to transplant them in the garden.
There are many ornamental plants that can be mistreated and still thrive and the Golden Marguerite is certainly among the toughest of them all. Because it thrives on neglect, we always recommended it for beginner gardeners and those who live in hot places. This plant will surprise you with an abundance of bright yellow flowers and aromatic foliage all summer long. Moreover, it makes an excellent cut flower and is super easy to propagate.
Are you growing Cota tinctoria a.k.a. Golden Marguerite? Share your experience in the comments!