Common Daisy, Bellis perennis
Bellis perennis is a well-known European species of Daisy, often deemed the archetypal species of that name. Many similar plants share the “Daisy” name, so to distinguish this species from other daisies it is often referred to as Common Daisy, Lawn Daisy, or occasionally English Daisy. Although the species has been widely naturalized in North and South America, it is native to western, central, and northern Europe.
The Common Daisy is an herbaceous, dicot plant that grows close to the ground. It has short creeping rhizomes and small rounded, spoon-shaped evergreen leaves about 1 to 2 inches in length. The one inch flower heads are held aloft on 1 to 4 inch leafless stems and are made up of white ray florets, sometimes with red tips, and yellow disc florets.
It has been said that the name “Daisy” is a corruption of “day’s eye,” because at night the whole head closes and in the morning it opens. It has also been called “eye of the day,” by Chaucer. Further, Daisy is also a common nickname for girls named Margaret, which is originally derived from the Latin word for Daisy.
The Common Ddaisy is sometimes considered a weed on lawns because it is not affected by mowing, but unlike other weeds it is admired for its aesthetic value. Some hybrids with much larger flower heads and with light pink to purple-red ray florets have been created.
The flower has other uses than just common garden purposes. It has long been utilized in folk medicine for its astringent properties. Also, daisies have traditionally been used for making daisy chains in children’s games.