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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 plant was described by Chaucer as the 'day's eye', and 'the emperice and flour of floures alle'.

Bellis perennis (daisy)

[KSP]

Kew Species Profiles

General Description

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 perennis is 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 Herbal in 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.

[CPLC]

Bernal, R., Gradstein, S.R. & Celis, M. (eds.). 2015. Catálogo de plantas y líquenes de Colombia. Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá. http://catalogoplantasdecolombia.unal.edu.co

Distribution
Adventicia en Colombia; Alt. 2600 - 2800 m.; Andes.
Morphology General Habit
Hierba
Conservation
No Evaluada

[KSP]
Use
Ornamental, medicinal.

Native to:

Albania, Austria, Baleares, Baltic States, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Central European Rus, Corse, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, East Aegean Is., East European Russia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Kriti, Krym, Lebanon-Syria, Madeira, Morocco, Netherlands, North Caucasus, North European Russi, Northwest European R, Norway, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sardegna, Sicilia, South European Russi, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tadzhikistan, Transcaucasus, Turkey, Turkey-in-Europe, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Yugoslavia

Introduced into:

Afghanistan, Alaska, Antipodean Is., Azores, Bolivia, British Columbia, California, Chatham Is., Colombia, Connecticut, Costa Rica, Falkland Is., Finland, Føroyar, Hawaii, Iceland, Idaho, Illinois, India, Indiana, Kentucky, Korea, Kuril Is., Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Myanmar, New Brunswick, New Hampshire, New York, New Zealand North, New Zealand South, Newfoundland, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nova Scotia, Ohio, Ontario, Oregon, Pakistan, Pennsylvania, Québec, Rhode I., Sakhalin, Tasmania, Tennessee, Tristan da Cunha, Uruguay, Utah, Vermont, Victoria, Virginia, Washington, West Himalaya, West Virginia, Wisconsin

English
Daisy

Bellis perennis L. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Nov 4, 2011 Day, C.D. [80], Turkey K000341506
Cope, T.A. [RBG 35], United Kingdom K000914450
Gandoger, M. [217], Italy K000890217
Béguinot, A. [2964], Sicilia K000890216
Béguinot, A. [2765], Sicilia K000890215
Rigo, G. [64], Sicilia K000890213
Béguinot, A. [2765], Sicilia K000890214
s.coll. [s.n.], Sicilia Bellis hybrida K000890206
Tenore, M. [s.n.] Bellis hybrida K000890204 Unknown type material
Tenore, M. [s.n.] Bellis hybrida K000890205 Unknown type material
s.coll. [s.n.] Bellis hybrida K000890232
s.coll. [s.n.], Spain Bellis hybrida K000890203

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

Accepted by

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee (2006). Asteraceae Flora of Australia 20: 1-666. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.
  • Ghazanfar, S.A., Edmondson, J.R. & Hind, D.J.N. (eds.) (2019). Flora of Iraq 6: 1-458. Ministry of Agriculture & Agrarian Reform, Baghdad.
  • Litvinskaya, S.A. & Murtazaliev, R.A. (2013). Flora of the Northern Caucasus: An Atlas and Identification Book: 1-688. Fiton XXI.
  • Meades, S.J. & Brouillet, L. (2019). Annotated Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Newfoundland and Labrador https://www.newfoundland-labradorflora.com/checklist/.
  • Pruski, J.F. (ed.) (2018). Flora Mesoamericana 5(2): 1-608. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México, D.F.
  • Wu, Z. & Raven, P.H. (eds.) (2011). Asteraceae Flora of China 20-21: 1-992. Science Press (Beijing) & Missouri Botanical Garden Press (St. Louis).
  • von Raab-Straube, E. (ed.) (2011). Compositae. Euro+Med Plantbase The Euro+Med PlantBase - the information resource for Euro-Mediterranean plant diversity http://ww2.bgbm.org/EuroPlusMed/query.asp.

Literature

Kew Species Profiles

  • Bown, D. (2008). The Royal Horticultural Society Encyclopedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London.
  • Clapham, A. R., Tutin, T. G. & Moore, D. M. (1987). Flora of the British Isles. 3rd edn. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Gerard, J. (1633). The Herbal; or General History of Plants. The complete 1633 edition. Dover, New York.
  • 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.
  • Huxley, A., Griffiths, M. & Levy, M. (eds) (1992). The New Royal Horticultural Society Dictionary of Gardening, 4 vols. Macmillan, London.
  • Mabberley, D. J. (2008). Mabberley’s Plant-Book: A Portable Dictionary of Plants, Their Classification and Uses. 3rd edn. Cambridge University Press.
  • Mabey, R. (1996). Flora Britannica. Sinclair-Stevenson, London.
  • National Biodiversity Network Species Dictionary (Feb 2003).
  • Press, B. & Gibbons, B. (1993). Photographic Field Guide to Wild Flowers of Britain and Europe. New Holland Publishers (UK) Ltd, London.
  • Preston, C. D., Pearman, D. A. & Dines, T. D. (2002). The New Atlas of the British and Irish Flora. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Usher, G. (1974). A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable, London.

Catálogo de Plantas y Líquenes de Colombia

  • ColPlantA (2021). "ColPlantA. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://www.colplanta.org/"

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Kharkevich, S.S. (ed.) (1992). Plantae Vasculares Orientalis Extremi Sovietici 6: 1-428. Nauka, Leningrad.
  • Pruski, J.F. (ed.) (2018). Flora Mesoamericana 5(2): 1-608. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México, D.F.

Catálogo de Plantas y Líquenes de Colombia
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Colombian resources for Plants made Accessible
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Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
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Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Science Photographs
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Kew Species Profiles
Kew Species Profiles
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0