Daisy (Bellis perennis)

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Daisy fact file

Daisy description

KingdomPlantae
PhylumAnthophyta
ClassMagnoliopsida
OrderAsterales
FamilyAsteraceae
GenusBellis (1)

The humble yet cheerfully attractive daisy is familiar to most as a 'weed' of lawns and a feature of many children's games (4). The small, hairy, spoon-shaped leaves, which are green throughout the year, are arranged in flat, neat rosettes (5). 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 'disk florets', which are surrounded by petal-like white 'ray-florets' that often have deep pink or reddish flushes on the underside (2). This species was described as the 'day’s eye', by Chaucer and 'the emperice and flour of floures alle' (5).

Size
Leaf length: 2 - 4 cm (2)
Flower head diameter: 16 - 25 mm (2)
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Daisy biology

The daisy is a perennial species, which flowers for much of the year (5). The flowers open at dawn and are visited by many small insects (2), they are used by children to make daisy chains (4).

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Daisy range

Ubiquitous throughout Britain (3). It also occurs throughout Europe and west Asia (2).

You can view distribution information for this species at the National Biodiversity Network Gateway.
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Daisy habitat

Found in all types of mown, trampled or grazed calcareous and neutral grassland, but thrives best in areas that become fairly wet for some of the year. This species is known chiefly as a weed of lawns, pastureland and roadside verges, but it also occurs on riverbanks, dune-slacks, and lake margins (3).

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Daisy status

Widespread and common (3).

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Daisy threats

This species is not threatened.

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Daisy conservation

Conservation action is not needed.

There may be further information about this species available via the National Biodiversity Network Gateway.
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Find out more

For more information on British plants and their conservation see:

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Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact: arkive@wildscreen.org.uk
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Glossary

Calcareous
Containing free calcium carbonate, chalky.
Capitulum
A compound flower head, consisting of many tightly packed flowers. (a type of inflorescence, the reproductive shoot of the plant, which bears flowers).
Dune-slacks
Depressions between sand dunes that are often wet during the winter.
Inflorescence
The reproductive shoot of a plant, which bears a group or cluster of flowers.
Perennial
Plants that live for at least three seasons; after an initial period they produce flowers once a year.
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References

  1. Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) (September, 2009)
    http://www.itis.gov/
  2. Clapham, A.R., Tutin, T.G. and Moore, D.M. (1987) Flora of the British Isles. 3rd Edition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  3. Preston, C.D., Pearman, D.A. and Dines, T.D. (2002) The New Atlas of the British and Irish Flora. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  4. Mabey, R. (1996) Flora Britannica. Sinclair-Stevenson, London.
  5. Press, B. and Gibbons, B. (1993) Photographic Field Guide to Wild Flowers of Britain and Europe. New Holland Publishers (UK) Ltd, London.
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Image credit

Daisies in flower  
Daisies in flower

© lauriecampbell.com

Laurie Campbell Photography
Hestia
Paxton
Berwick-upon-Tweed
TD15 1TE
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 1289 386 736
Fax: +44 (0) 1289 386 746
info@lauriecampbell.com
http://www.lauriecampbell.com

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