Common Daisy

©Chris Lawrence

Common Daisy

©Rachel Scopes

Common Daisy

©Gemma de Gouveia

Common daisy

Scientific name: Bellis perennis
He loves me, he loves me not' is a familiar rhyme associated with what is probably our most well-known plant: the common daisy. Its white-and-yellow flower heads brighten up lawns, verges and short turf almost everywhere.

Species information

Statistics

Height: up to 10cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

January to December

About

Perhaps one of our most familiar flowers of all, the humble common daisy can be seen flowering almost all year-round. Its persistent and widespread growth, heralding the arrival of spring to our gardens, has resulted in children using its flowers to make necklaces (daisy chains) and adults desperately trying to rid their lawns of this so-called 'weed'.

How to identify

The common daisy has spoon-shaped leaves that form a rosette at the base of the plant, close to the ground and among the short grass it favours. A single stem arises carrying the flower head - this is not just one flower, but a composite of a number of tiny flowers which make up the yellow disc in the middle ('disc florets') and the surrounding white 'ray florets' (which look just like petals).

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

The petal-plucking game, 'He loves me; he loves me not', is thought to have started with the oxeye daisy, but is now a common children's activity using the ubiquitous common daisy. While thinking of a suitor, each petal is plucked until the answer of whether love is possible becomes apparent. However, each 'petal' is actually an individual flower as common daisies have composite flower heads, made up of lots of tiny flowers.

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