Daisy 101

  • Posted on 06/29/2016 by Laura

The daisy, one of ultimate symbols of innocence, loyalty, love, purity, faith, cheer, and simplicity, can be found virtually everywhere. Well, except for Antarctica. Still that’s very widespread.

Meanings

A red daisy signifies beauty unknown to its possessor. That seems just right for a daisy, since it’s so common some might fail to notice the beauty of the flower.

Because of the general association to innocence, maidens and queens could often be seen wearing daisies in their hair. A maiden who did so would be known as untouched and awaiting love from a permanent relationship.

The gerbera daisies have some more distinct meanings in the different color variations.

  • Orange: if gifting an orange gerbera, the gesture means that you are the sunshine of her life.
  • Red: unconscious in love.

Daisies, when giftwrapped, symbolize protection of secrets. When giving wrapped daises in public, this can be seen as passing the secret from one person to the next.

Celtic tradition says that daisies can relieve stress and sorrow. Parents often would scatter them across the graves of their children.

Egyptian tradition valued daisies, believing they symbolized closeness to nature and possessing them was an act of reverence for the glory of the sun.

History

Its name comes from the Old English for “day’s eye.” It was named this because the petals would open up at dawn and close up again at dusk. However, the daisy originates much further back than this medieval time period.

It’s possible that children were making daisy chains or plucking the flowers petals saying, “he loves me, he loves me not” since 3000 BCE. These flowers have been depicted in cave paintings since then and came about just around the time dinosaurs became extinct.

The Victorians had some interesting perceptions of the daisy, classifying different types very separately. Double pink varieties were considered favorites and the wild daisy was merely considered a weed that should gardens should be rid of. 

And in 16th century France, the “Order of the Daisy” was nationally important. In Britain, the daisy also had some significance in relation to patriotism. May 24th became Empire Day and many school girls wore daisies to commemorate the United Empire.

Uses

In the Middle Ages, the daisy was used to relieve bruising and shock to battle wounds. It was believed the flower could even stop bleeding so crushed daisies would be added to bandages. Prior to the Middle Ages, daisy juice was believed to cure migraines. The leaves and petals of the Bellis perennis, or the common daisy, are used for healing. It can relax spasms and cure coughs. The plant is even used on varicose veins, wounds, and watery eyes.

Many different varieties of the daisy are used in the making of herbal teas, such as Chamomile, as well as actual herbs. Artemisia can be used to make absinthe and Artemisia as well as Tagetes lucida can be used as a substitute for tarragon.

The flower was also incorporated into wine.

The leaves of a daisy are edible and taste similarly to artichokes. They are high in Vitamin C.

Fun Fact

The daisy is actually two flowers. Let’s use the general white and yellow daisy as an example. The white petals are one flower, while the center yellow cluster is considered to be another flower.

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