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12 Interesting Facts About Daisy

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Daisies are one of the most common and recognizable flowers around the world. With their bright white petals and yellow centers, daisies represent cheerfulness and innocence. Beyond their simple beauty, daisies have some fascinating facts behind them that make them even more special.

Introduction

Daisies belong to the extensive Asteraceae family, which contains around 32,913 species of flowering plants. Some popular members of this family include sunflowers, chrysanthemums, dahlias, zinnias and marigolds.

While the name “daisy” commonly refers to members of the Bellis genus, several other genera contain plants referred to as daisies as well. These cheerful blooms grow all over the world in various habitats ranging from roadsides to lawns and meadows.

Daisies have a long and rich history of cultural significance across civilizations. They are popular garden plants and are often used in floral arrangements. Their medicinal properties have also been utilized since ancient times.

Here are 12 interesting facts about these beloved flowers that highlight their unique features and why they continue to fascinate people globally.

Facts About Daisy Flowers

Dreamy Daisies
Dreamy Daisies

1. There Are Over 20,000 Recognized Daisy Species

The Asteraceae family contains over 20,000 recognized daisy species – more than any other flowering plant family. Daisies can be annual, biennial or perennial plants. Their extraordinary diversity allows them to adapt to many climates and environments around the world.

Some popular daisy species include:

  • English daisy (Bellis perennis)
  • Gerbera daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
  • Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum)
  • African daisy (Arctotis and Dimorphotheca species)
  • Painted daisy (Chrysanthemum coccineum)

2. Daisies Got Their Name From an Old English Word Meaning “Day’s Eye”

Daisies belong to the plant genus Bellis, derived from the Latin word bellus meaning “pretty”.

The English name “daisy” comes from the Old English term dægeseage meaning “day’s eye”. This refers to the flowers opening and closing with the sunlight each day.

Some sources also suggest the name comes from the flower’s white petals and yellow center, resembling the sun and its rays.

3. Daisies Have Specialized Structures for Reproduction

Daisies contain both female and male parts within the same flower head, making them hermaphroditic flowers.

The central yellow disc is made up of many small, tightly clustered flowers called florets. This disc functions as the male part containing pollen.

The surrounding white petal-like structures are specialized leaves called ray florets. These contain the female reproductive organs to produce seeds following pollination.

4. Timelapse Footage Shows Daisies Dance over a Day

Daisies exhibit a special daily movement where they open and close their blooms in time with daylight known as diurnal rhythmicity. The flowers orient themselves towards the sun in a solar tracking motion.

Cool timelapse videos demonstrate this heliotropism behavior, with rows of daisies appearing to “dance” across the day while following the sun’s movement!

5. The Ancient Celts Believed Daisies Had Magical Healing Properties

Daisies have a long history of use in traditional medicine dating back to ancient Celtic civilizations. Herbalists used extracts from daisies to create ointments for healing wounds and relieving inflammation.

The Celtic druids harvested daisies on the summer solstice as they believed this imbued them with solar energy and enhanced their medicinal power. These traditions gave daisies an association with magic and mysticism across Celtic culture.

6. Gerbera Daisies Are Named After a Famous 17th Century Botanist

The fifth member of the daisy family are Gerbera daisies, named after renowned Swiss botanist and medical doctor Traugott Gerber.

In 1884 Gerber extensively studied the genus Gerbera in South Africa, which was later classified and named after him by the director of the Botanical Garden of Geneva.

Gerbera daisies come in a stunning array of colors from classics like red and yellow to pastel pinks, oranges and whites.

7. Daisies Have Inspired Famous Artists Over the Centuries

Daisies have been a popular subject for artists across various eras and movements. Famous daisy artworks include:

  • Two Cut Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh: This iconic painting also includes bright red poppies and cheerful daisies.
  • Daisies by Mary Cassatt: An Impressionist style oil painting depicting a woman in a blue dress picking daisies in a meadow.
  • Irises, Daisies and Cornflowers by Emil Nolde: A colorful watercolor still life with vivid blue and yellow daisies.

8. Daisies Hold the Guinness World Record for Flowering Plant Clones

A single colony of daisies in Japan holds the Guinness World Record for the oldest flowering plant clones.

Located in the city of Toyama, this giant daisy clone colony is thought to have propagated vegetatively from a single parent plant over 1,500 years ago!

Researchers used carbon dating and DNA analysis to establish the remarkable age of this clonal colony covering over 8,500 square meters.

9. Daisies Have Inspired Famous Literary Works

The innocence symbolized by daisies has inspired many famous literary works across the ages.

Poets, playwrights and novelists have used the daisy to represent purity, new beginnings and transformation:

  • The Daisy follows soft the Sun – Poem by Henry David Thoreau
  • Ophelia’s speech about daisies in Hamlet by Shakespeare
  • Daisy Miller – Novel by Henry James centered around an innocent American girl named Daisy exploring Europe.

10. Daisies Are Rich in Medicinal Compounds That Treat Inflammation

Modern scientific analysis has revealed that daisies contain high levels of specialized metabolites with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and pain-relieving properties.

Some of these medicinal compounds found in daisies include:

  • Flavonoids: Powerful antioxidants that protect cells from damage. Also reduce inflammation.
  • Sesquiterpenes: Have analgesic effects to alleviate pain.
  • Coumarins: Exhibit anti-inflammatory effects.

This explains their enduring traditional use to treat wounds, bruises and rheumatism.

11. The Gerbera Daisy Is the Official Flower for the 5th Wedding Anniversary

According to the traditional anniversary flower list, the Gerbera daisy symbolizes the 5th wedding anniversary.

The vibrant, eye-catching blooms reflect half a decade of marriage filled with color, vitality and cheer.

Due to their bright hues and bold shapes, Gerbera daisies also feature frequently as ornamental flowers in modern wedding arrangements and bouquets.

12. Daisies Represent Innocence and Purity Across Flower Language

Across cultures, daisies are most commonly associated with innocence, purity and new beginnings.

Gifting daisies conveys messages of:

  • Innocent love
  • Loyal love
  • Purity of feelings
  • A fresh start

This floral meaning stems from daisies commonly being white, the color associated with purity. The flowers also evoke images of playful children picking them in meadows.

Their meaning can sometimes vary by color – for example, gerbera daisies represent cheerfulness and vibrancy.

Conclusion

Daisies hold a special place among the vast array of flowering plants, thanks to their delicate beauty belying a hardy nature. These bright blooms also have a rich cultural history and medicinal properties beyond their ornamental appeal.

The fascinating rituals, artworks and literary works they have inspired reflect deep symbolic associations with innocence, healing and the life-giving sun. Modern applications further highlight their anti-inflammatory benefits.

From their unique dance-like daily movements to record-breaking ancient clones, daisies continue to fascinate us with their resilience and colorful variety brightening up fields across the world.


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