Lakeside Daisy Preserve

Lakeside Daisy Preserve

Lakeside Daisy State Nature Preserve encompasses 19 acres of old limestone quarried land on the Marblehead Peninsula of Lake Erie in Ottawa County.

This preserve was established to protect the only natural United States population of the Lakeside Daisy, a federally threatened plant species which only occurs naturally at a handful of sites. Also a state endangered species, this is one of Ohio's most spectacular wildflowers.

In early to mid-May, its bright yellow flowers adorn the otherwise bleak, sun-baked landscape of the Marblehead quarry.

This preserve was named in honor of Colleen Taylor and Ruth Fiscuss who were very instrumental in the protection of this site as a state nature preserves in 1988. The Division of Natural Areas and Preserves worked with LaFarge Corporation to protect the Lakeside Daisy within the active limestone quarry.

In 1988, the division acquired 19 acres of abandoned limestone quarry form Standard Slag Company (Lafarge Corporation purchased Standard Slag in 1989) using donations to the Ohio Income Tax Checkoff Fund. Colleen (Casey) Taylor of Marblehead was instrumental in mobilizing statewide support for the acquisition and protection of this site.

The bright Lakeside Daisy is one of Ohio's most spectacular wildflowers. This long-lived perennial grows where few others can, on nearly barren limestone bedrock in full sunlight. In early to mid-May, the bright yellow flowers of the Lakeside Daisy adorn the otherwise bleak, sun-baked landscape of the Marblehead Quarry. Each basal rosette of leaves usually produces a single 6-11" tall, leafless, erect stalk topped with a solitary flower.

All individuals within a given population tend to bloom about the same time, producing the spectacular effect of a golden blanket across the rocky landscape. All the flower heads track the sun across the sky in unison. After about a week, the double notched petals fade before falling.

Seed dispersal takes place about a month later. Lakeside daisy also reproduces vegetatively by rhizomatous growth. The dense basal tufts of somewhat fleshy, mostly linear leaves appear stemless; the stem, or rhizome, is at the surface or slightly underground. It is from this rhizome that new plants emerge.

The Lakeside Daisy (Hymenoxys herbacea) is the rarest of the plants currently listed as endangered in Ohio. This distinction is due to its limited distribution both in Ohio and throughout its geographic range.

The only natural population of Lakeside Daisy in the United States grows on the Marblehead Peninsula in Ottawa County. In 1988 the Lakeside Daisy was listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a federally threatened species. The species has been listed as endangered in Ohio since 1980.