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Lakeside Daisy State Nature Preserve

Overview

Colleen Taylor and Ruth Fiscus - Lakeside Daisy State Nature Preserve encompasses 136 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 (Tetraneuris herbacea), 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 Fiscus who were very instrumental in the protection of the original 19-acre parcel in 1988.

The Division of Natural Areas and Preserves worked with LaFarge Corporation to protect the Lakeside Daisy within the active limestone quarry. 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.

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