Scientific name: Erigeron karvinskianus
- Order: Asterales
- Family: Asteraceae
- Genus: Erigeron
- Species: E. karvinskianus
Atop slender stalks rest the whimsical white, pinkish, or purplish petals of the Santa Barbara daisy, also called the Mexican daisy. Wilhelm Friedrich Karwinski von Karwin, a German naturalist, found the daisy in Mexico, and the flower was subsequently named after him: karvinskianus.
Native to Mexico, Central America, and South America, this pretty but invasive daisy is now found on most continents of the world. The Santa Barbara daisy grows in sand, which is a drier type of soil with less nutrients; chalk, which is less acidic but with more calcium in it; and loam, fertile soil that is often best for growing plants.
The daisy can spread across rocks, with its roots infiltrating the cracks in the stone. Because of the Santa Barbara daisy’s rock-dwelling ability, the flower can blanket stone steps or cover a stone wall with a soft, ocean-froth-like carpet.