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Borrichia frutescens Sea Oxeye1

Edward F. Gilman 2


The sea oxeye daisy is a true beach plant and may be used in the landscape as a flowering hedge or ground cover (Fig. 1). It spreads by rhizomes and attains a height of 2 to 4 feet. The foliage of this plant is fleshy and gray-green in color. The flowering heads of Borrichia frutescens have yellow rays with brownish-yellow disc flowers, and these flowers attract many types of butterflies. Each flower is subtended by a hard, erect, sharp bract. The fruits are small, inconspicuous, four-sided achenes.

Figure 1. Sea oxeye.
Figure 1.  Sea oxeye.

General Information

Scientific name: Borrichia frutescens
Pronunciation: bor-RICK-ee-uh froo-TESS-enz
Common name(s): sea oxeye
Family: Compositae
Plant type: ground cover
USDA hardiness zones: 10 through 11 (Fig. 2)
Planting month for zone 10 and 11: year round
Origin: native to Florida
Uses: mass planting; ground cover; attracts butterflies
Availability: somewhat available, may have to go out of the region to find the plant

Figure 2. Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Figure 2.  Shaded area represents potential planting range.


Height: 2 to 3 feet
Spread: 2 to 3 feet
Plant habit: upright
Plant density: moderate
Growth rate: slow
Texture: medium


Leaf arrangement: opposite/subopposite
Leaf type: simple
Leaf margin: terminal spine
Leaf shape: obovate
Leaf venation: pinnate
Leaf type and persistence: evergreen
Leaf blade length: 2 to 4 inches
Leaf color: green
Fall color: no fall color change
Fall characteristic: not showy


Flower color: yellow
Flower characteristic: year-round flowering


Fruit shape: elongated
Fruit length: 1 to 3 inches
Fruit cover: dry or hard
Fruit color: unknown
Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: not applicable
Current year stem/twig color: gray/silver
Current year stem/twig thickness: medium


Light requirement: plant grows in full sun
Soil tolerances: extended flooding; acidic; alkaline; sand; loam
Drought tolerance: moderate
Soil salt tolerances: good
Plant spacing: 36 to 60 inches


Roots: not applicable
Winter interest: no special winter interest
Outstanding plant: not particularly outstanding
Invasive potential: not known to be invasive
Pest resistance: no serious pests are normally seen on the plant

Use and Management

The sea oxeye daisy is native to salt water wetlands in south Florida, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean and is commonly associated with mangroves. It fills swales and ditches on our barrier islands and will endure brackish conditions and diverse soils. Sea oxeye requires full sun and is drought tolerant but will not bear over-watering or overfertilizing. It takes shearing well.

Sea oxeye is propagated from seeds or cuttings.

Pests and Diseases

No pests or diseases are of major concern.


1. This document is FPS69, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Reviewed February 2014. Visit the EDIS website at
2. Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

Publication #FPS69

Date: 5/5/2015

      Organism ID


      • Gail Hansen de Chapman