Madia elegans is native to North America and thanks to the fragrant oil its foliage contains, it is often called tarweed or elegant tarweed. The latter seems to be more appropriate. Its daisy-like flowers are pure yellow with or without a maroon spot at the base of each flower petal. The elegant flower heads form on tall (1m/3ft) erect and branching stems which tend to become lanky if Madia is grown in a shady spot or the soil contains too much moisture. Being taught by evolution to save water, all excess moisture makes it go crazy a little. But be cautious, it is a dry areas species and abhors waterlogged soils.
The best way to get Madia is buy its seeds and sow them in the spring. They germinate without prompting but the seedlings need to be transplanted to form sturdier individuals. When the weather conditions are good we can plant them in the garden. Choose sunny, well drained locations and sheltered ones as strong winds might distort the stems. As a matter of fact, distorted Madia looks more interesting than the erect one, definitely more inspiring. And the inspiration can make us feel like listening to good jazz. Why not?