Shasta daisies are characterised by a distinct odour which some find unpleasant. It originated as a hybrid produced in 1890 by the American horticulturist Luther Burbank from a number of daisies. First, he crossed Leucanthemum vulgare with Leucanthemum maximum (Ramond) DC.; this double hybrid was itself crossed with Leucanthemum lacustre (Brot.) Samp. The resulting Leucanthemum triple hybrid was crossed with Nipponanthemum nipponicum (Franch. ex Maxim.) Kitam., creating an intergeneric cross of species from three continents.
It was named after Mount Shasta, because its petals were the colour of the snow. Some members of the genus are considered noxious weeds, but the Shasta daisy remains a favourite garden plant and ground-cover. Many cultivars are suitable for cut flowers, such as 'Becky', 'Esther Read', 'Silberprinzesschen' (Silver Princess), 'Snow Lady', 'Tinkerbell', 'Wirral Pride', 'Wirral Supreme'. The cultivar 'T.E. Killin' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. The illustrated variety is 'Snowdrift', which we have growing in our garden.
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