Scientific name: Leucanthemum × superbum
- Order: Asterales
- Family: Asteraceae
- Genus: Leucanthemum
- Species: L. × superbum
With white flowers, the Shasta daisy gets its name from snowy Mount Shasta, an active volcano in northern California, USA. Its delicate and charming appearance hides an odor that is disagreeable to some. Larger than most wild daisies, the Shasta daisy is often a popular flower to plant in gardens. It is a member of the Asteraceae, or sunflower, family, which includes daisies, dandelions, dahlias, cosmos, and chrysanthemums.
The Shasta daisy’s scientific name, Leucanthemum × superbum, indicates that this plant is a hybrid, or cross between two (or sometimes more) plants. In this case, the two plants were originally the oxeye daisy, Leucanthemum vulgare, and the English field daisy, Leucanthemum maximum. Some of the hybrids were mixed with the Portuguese field daisy, Leucanthemum lacustre. Then, these flowers were crossed with the Japanese field daisy, Nipponanthemum nipponicum. Thus, the Shasta daisy is a three or four species “hybrid” with ancestors from three different continents — North America, Europe, and Asia.