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Botanical Name: Bellis perennis
Species: B. perennis
Synonyms: Bruisewort. (Scotch) Bairnwort. (Welsh) Llygad y Dydd (Eye of the Day).
Common Names: Common daisy, Daisy, Lawn daisy or English daisy. bruisewort and occasionally woundwort
Habitat : Bellis perennis is native to western, central and northern Europe, but widely naturalised in most temperate regions including the Americas and Australasia
It is an herbaceous perennial plant with short creeping rhizomes and rosettes of small rounded or spoon-shaped leaves that are from 3/4 to 2 inches (approx. 2–5 cm) long and grow flat to the ground. The species habitually colonises lawns, and is difficult to eradicate by mowing – hence the term ‘lawn daisy’. Wherever it appears it is often considered an invasive weed.
The flowerheads are composite, in the form of a pseudanthium, consisting of many sessile flowers about 3/4 to 1-1/4 in (approx. 2–3 cm) in diameter, with white ray florets (often tipped red) and yellow disc florets. Each inflorescence is borne on single leafless stems 3/4 – 4 in (approx. 2–10 cm), rarely 6 in (approx. 15 cm) tall. The capitulum, or disc of florets, is surrounded by two rows of green bracts known as “phyllaries”.
B. perennis generally blooms from early to midsummer, although when grown under ideal conditions, they have a very long flowering season and will even produce a few flowers in the middle of mild winters.
It can generally be grown in USDA Zones 4 – 8 (i.e. where minimum temperatures are above ?30 °F (?34 °C)) in full sun to partial shade conditions, and requires low or no maintenance. It has no known serious insect or disease problems and can generally be grown in most well-drained soils. The plant may be propagated either by seed after the last frost, or by division after flowering.
Though invasive, the species is still considered a valuable ground cover in certain garden settings (e.g., as part of English or cottage inspired gardens, as well as spring meadows where low growth and some color is desired in parallel with minimal care and maintenance while helping to crowd out noxious weeds once established and naturalised).
Numerous single- and double-flowered varieties are in cultivation, producing flat or spherical blooms in a range of sizes (1 cm to 6 cm) and colours (red, pink & white). They are generally grown from seed as biennial bedding plants. They can also be purchased as plugs in Spring. The cultivar ‘Tasso series’ has gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit.
This daisy may be used as a potherb. Young leaves can be eaten raw in salads or cooked, noting that the leaves become increasingly astringent with age. Flower buds and petals can be eaten raw in sandwiches, soups and salads. It is also used as a tea and as a vitamin supplement.
Parts Used- in medicine:–Root, leaves.
Daisies are a popular domestic remedy with a wide range of applications. They are a traditional wound herb and are also said to be especially useful in treating delicate and listless children. Recent research (1994) has been looking at the possibility of using the plant in HIV therapy. The herb is mildly anodyne, antispasmodic, antitussive, demulcent, digestive, emollient, expectorant, laxative, ophthalmic, purgative and tonic. The fresh or dried flowering heads are normally used. An infusion is used in the treatment of catarrh, rheumatism, arthritis, liver and kidney disorders, as a blood purifier etc. The daisy once had a great reputation as a cure for fresh wounds. An ointment made from the leaves is applied externally to wounds, bruises etc whilst a distilled water is used internally to treat inflammatory disorders of the liver. Chewing the fresh leaves is said to be a cure for mouth ulcers. Daisies also have a reputation for effectiveness in treating breast cancers. The flowers and leaves are normally used fresh in decoctions, ointments and poultices. A strong decoction of the roots has been recommended for the treatment of scorbutic complaints and eczema, though it needs to be taken for some time before its effect becomes obvious. A mild decoction may ease complaints of the respiratory tract, rheumatic pains and painful or heavy menstruation. The plant, harvested when in flower, is used as a homeopathic remedy. Its use is especially indicated in the treatment of bruising etc.
Bellis perennis has astringent properties and has been used in herbal medicine. In ancient Rome, the surgeons who accompanied Roman legions into battle would order their slaves to pick sacks full of daisies in order to extract their juice, hence the origin of this plant’s scientific name in Latin. Bandages were soaked in this juice and would then be used to bind sword and spear cuts.
Bellis perennis is still used in homeopathy for wounds and after certain surgical procedures, as well as for blunt trauma in animals. Typically, the plant is harvested while in flower when intended for use in homeopathy.
Bellis perennis flowers have been used in the traditional Austrian medicine internally as tea (or the leaves as a salad) for treatment of disorders of the gastrointestinal and respiratory tract.
Daisies have traditionally been used for making daisy chains in children’s games.