Telekia speciosa

Thank you to beranekp@Flickr of Teplice (Czech Republic) for sharing today’s photograph (original image via the BPotD Flickr Pool). Much appreciated!

Named after Count Sámuel Teleki de Szék, the genus Telekia is found natively from southeastern Europe to southern Russia. Two species comprise the genus, and this tall herbaceous perennial (to 2m), Telekia speciosa is by far the most widespread. The epithet speciosa means “showy”, yet despite the moniker, it is not the showiest. That title belongs to its narrow endemic sibling, Telekia speciosissima (“showiest”), found growing only in rocky crevices “of limestone and dolomite boulders in the Lombardy Prealps”. Telekia speciosa is not so fussy when it comes to growing environments: it is found along forest margins, where it can tolerate full sun as long as it is growing in moist soil. In Georgia (and perhaps elsewhere?), it forms part of a special vegetation type called “tall herbs” (see: Ornamental Plants in their Natural Habitats).

A number of common names are used for this species, including showy telekia, oxeye daisy (used for many other species as well), heartleaf oxeye, and yellow oxeye.

For additional photographs, please visit (Telekia speciosa) and (Telekia speciosa). The Kemper Center for Home Gardening also has a detailed account for gardeners interested in this species: Telekia speciosa.

To BPotD business: for those of you who belong to the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool (and anyone else interested): in celebration of the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity, we’re coordinating UBC Botanical Garden’s educational programming around monthly themes. For BPotD, we are planning to do a week-long series in the respective theme every month. Please see this discussion topic for a list of the themes, as well as suggested tags to help us select images.

Lastly, for local readers, the courses and lectures listing for Jan-Jun 2010 also reflects the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity celebrations — you’re very welcome to join us!

Telekia speciosa

13 responses to “Telekia speciosa”

  1. elizabeth a airhart

    thank you daniel the links are just fine
    look on top of the pages one will find
    a flag to read the page in english if needed
    a handsome cheerful flower to start off
    the new year
    i have email from un on biodiversity year
    just follow daniels link
    looking forward to the year 2010 with
    everyone thank you bon jour

  2. annie Morgan

    Yes indeed, what a bright cheery beginning for this new year. I am looking forward to everything and anything you offer, and with great pleasure.

  3. phillip

    yes…with the new year and Daniels favorite color..a cherry new year for all…

  4. Mary Ann, in Toronto

    ‘Luscious’ was the first word that came to mind on seeing these flowers.
    Lovely range of textures in the flower-heads. Very sensual; can imagine how it feels to the touch.

  5. gail shewchuk

    I sooo look forward to these photos each day.
    This one is remarkable..thank you!
    Grateful in Edmonton AB CDA( zone 3 )

  6. Caroline Foust

    Thanks for the new plant info! Is the Telekia related to the helianthus in anyway? Does anyone know about any medicinal uses for the Telekia? just wondering….

  7. Tyler

    Very nice photos. Someone asked about Telekia being related to helianthus – they are both members of the Asteraceae family…

  8. Donald DeLano

    Growes well in Los Angeles, almost becoming somewhat ‘weedy’ in its spread, but a good thinning of the rhizomes every 2-3 years keeps that in check. A nice addition to the background.

  9. MercyJoy

    Pretty! Is it just me, or do they look similar to dandelions?
    I always put these photos in my iphoto so I can enjoy them again and again :*)

  10. Cool Garden Things

    I love your website!

  11. Tracey

    Is this invasive? I took photos of Telekia in Germany last year as I was impressed with it’s hedge-like appearance. Low and behold, it is the same “no name” plant I got a perennial swap in 2008 as a tiny struggling seedling! It grew like it was on steroids (over 2 metres).
    I deadheaded the plant as I was not willing to introduce a new weed into the neighborhood (especially since I worked in weed biocontrol for many years). I am also concerned about its root system being invasive. Any information someone can pass on?
    I live in southern Alberta zone 3 to 5 (depending on the exposure). I am willing to keep the giant if I know it has manners.

  12. Eric in SF

    Tracey – it seems it is considered invasive in many parts of the world:
    This page shows the species is on the Western Australia Prohibited list:
    (This information was found in about 2 seconds using the Google search “Telekia speciosa invasive”, btw.)

  13. David Fraser

    notes on managing the species in the garden see

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