1. Bellis perennis L.

    1. Daisy is a perennial plant, and flowers for much of the year. The upturned flower heads look like single flowers, but actually consist of a number of small, tightly packed individual flowers or 'florets'; this arrangement is a type of inflorescence known as a 'capitulum'. The capitula open at dawn, are visited by many small insects, and are also used by children to make daisy chains. The plant was described by Chaucer as the 'day’s eye', and ' the emperice and flour of floures alle'.

[KSP]

Kew Species Profiles

General Description
The humble yet cheerfully attractive daisy is familiar to most people as a weed of lawns and as a feature of children's games.

Daisy is a perennial plant, and flowers for much of the year. The upturned flower heads look like single flowers, but actually consist of a number of small, tightly packed individual flowers or 'florets'; this arrangement is a type of inflorescence known as a 'capitulum'. The capitula open at dawn, are visited by many small insects, and are also used by children to make daisy chains. The plant was described by Chaucer as the 'day’s eye', and ' the emperice and flour of floures alle'.

Species Profile

Geography and distribution

Daisy is common throughout Britain. It also occurs throughout the rest of Europe and west Asia.

Description

Leaves:The small, hairy, spoon-shaped leaves, which are green throughout the year, make up neat, flat rosettes.

Flowers:The upturned flower heads look like single flowers, but actually consist of a number of small, tightly packed individual flowers or 'florets'; this arrangement is a type of inflorescence known as a 'capitulum'. The flower heads have bright golden-yellow central discs, composed of 'disc florets', which are surrounded by petal-like white 'ray-florets' that often have deep pink or reddish flushes on the underside.

Uses

Although often considered to be a weed of lawns, Bellis perennisis a valuable addition to grassland areas managed for wildflowers and wildlife. There are many compact cultivars which are used for ornamental bedding displays.

The medicinal properties of daisy were recorded as far back as Gerard’s Herbalin the 16th century. The flowers and leaves can be used fresh in decoctions, ointments and poultices for treating wounds and also boils. A mild decoction of the flowers may ease complaints of the respiratory tract, including coughs. An ointment made from the leaves can be applied externally to wounds and bruises.

Although somewhat acidic to taste, the leaves are edible. These can be used as a pot herb or added to salads.

Cultivation

Daisy is usually considered a weed of lawns but in an informal setting it can create a pretty addition to short grass areas. Most cultivation advice for this species concentrates on how to remove it from a lawn - by spraying with herbicide or digging up plants, with their roots, and removing them. Daisy will usually appear in a lawn without any help and mowing the grass every two or three weeks will keep it short enough for daisy to survive and flower. It survives the cut of the lawn mower by having compact, ground-hugging rosettes of leaves.

Distribution
United Kingdom
Ecology
Temperate grassland.
Conservation
Widespread and common.
Hazards

None known.

[KSP]
Use
Ornamental, medicinal.

Images

Common Names

English
Daisy

Bellis perennis L. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Identified Reference Herbarium Specimen Type Status
Nov 4, 2011 Day, C.D. [80], Turkey K000341506
Rigo, G. [64], Sicilia K000890213
Béguinot, A. [2765], Sicilia K000890214
Béguinot, A. [2765], Sicilia K000890215
Béguinot, A. [2964], Sicilia K000890216
Gandoger, M. [217], Italy K000890217
Cope, T.A. [RBG 35], United Kingdom K000914450

First published in Sp. Pl. 2: 886 (1753)

Accepted in:

  • [1] Flora of China Editorial Committee (2011) Flora of China 20-21: 1-992. Science Press (Beijing) & Missouri Botanical Garden Press (St. Louis).
  • [2] von Raab-Straube, E. (ed.) (2011) The Euro+Med PlantBase - the information resource for Euro-Mediterranean plant diversity . http://ww2.bgbm.org/EuroPlusMed/query.asp.
  • [5] Flora of North America Editorial Committee (2006) Flora of North America North of Mexico 20: 1-666. Oxford University Press, New York, Oxford.

Literature

  • [3] Bown, D. (2008). The Royal Horticultural Society Encyclopedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London.
  • [4] Mabberley, D. J. (2008). Mabberley’s Plant-Book: A Portable Dictionary of Plants, Their Classification and Uses. 3rd edn. Cambridge University Press.
  • [6] Preston, C. D., Pearman, D. A. & Dines, T. D. (2002). The New Atlas of the British and Irish Flora. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • [7] Mabey, R. (1996). Flora Britannica. Sinclair-Stevenson, London.
  • [8] Press, B. & Gibbons, B. (1993). Photographic Field Guide to Wild Flowers of Britain and Europe. New Holland Publishers (UK) Ltd, London.
  • [9] Huxley, A., Griffiths, M. & Levy, M. (eds) (1992). The New Royal Horticultural Society Dictionary of Gardening, 4 vols. Macmillan, London.
  • [10] Clapham, A. R., Tutin, T. G. & Moore, D. M. (1987). Flora of the British Isles. 3rd edn. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • [11] Usher, G. (1974). A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable, London.

  • [12] Hedrick, U. P. (ed). (1919). Sturtevant’s Notes on Edible Plants. New York (State) Dept. of Agriculture, 27th Annual Report, Vol. 2 Part II. Lyon, Albany.
  • [13] Gerard, J. (1633). The Herbal; or General History of Plants. The complete 1633 edition. Dover, New York.
  • [14] National Biodiversity Network Species Dictionary (Feb 2003).

Sources

Kew Species Profiles
Kew Species Profiles
[A] http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
[B]

World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families(2016). Published on the Internet http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
[C] © Copyright 2016 International Plant Names Index and World Checkist of Selected Plant Families. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0