Daisy (Bellis perennis)
|Size||Leaf length: 2 - 4 cm (2)|
Flower head diameter: 16 - 25 mm (2)
Widespread and common (3).
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).
Ubiquitous throughout Britain (3). It also occurs throughout Europe and west Asia (2).
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).
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).
This species is not threatened.
Conservation action is not needed.
For more information on British plants and their conservation see:
- Plantlife - the wild plant conservation charity:
- Botanical Society of the British Isles:
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- 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.
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) (September, 2009)
- Clapham, A.R., Tutin, T.G. and Moore, D.M. (1987) Flora of the British Isles. 3rd Edition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
- Preston, C.D., Pearman, D.A. and Dines, T.D. (2002) The New Atlas of the British and Irish Flora. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
- Mabey, R. (1996) Flora Britannica. Sinclair-Stevenson, London.
- Press, B. and Gibbons, B. (1993) Photographic Field Guide to Wild Flowers of Britain and Europe. New Holland Publishers (UK) Ltd, London.