Daisies

What are commonly called daisies are actually members of several different plant families. The most common varieties are members of the family Asteraceae but there are also the Gerberas and Osteospermums as well. They are an herbaceous perennial and can spread by way of underground rhizomes. They are unusual in the fact that while they appear to be a flower with outer petals and a yellow center, they are actually composite blooms. The yellow center is made up of many disk-like florets and the outer "petals" are individual florets in themselves. It is said that the name "daisy" is a contraction of "day's eye", because the whole head closes at night and opens in the morning.

The Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum) is a commonly grown herbaceous perennial with the classic daisy appearance of white petals around a yellow disc, similar to the Oxeye but larger. The Shasta originated as a hybrid produced by the famed horticulturist Luther Burbank. Some members of the genus are considered noxious weeds, but the Shasta is a popular garden plant nonetheless.


The Michaelmas daisy is a frost hardy, bushy perennial which blooms from late summer to the end of October. It adds color to the fall garden. Its ability to attract butterflies is another reason to add it to your garden. Performing best in boggy, moist conditions, the Michaelmas is easy to grow, and it's one of the hardiest fall blooming flowers.



The Oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) is a widespread flowering plant native to Europe and the temperate regions of Asia. It is one of a number of plants to be called by the common name daisy.

The Oxeye is a typical meadow flower, growing in a variety of plant communities such as dry fields, meadows, but also under scrubs, open-canopy forests and waste places. It thrives in a wide range of conditions and prefers heavy and damp soils. It was introduced in parts of North America, Australia and New Zealand, where it is now a common weed displacing native plant species in some areas. It is difficult to control or eradicate, since a new plant can regenerate from rhizome fragments.


Gerber Daisies (Gerbera Linnaeus) are a genus of ornamental plants from the sunflower family. It was named in honor of the German naturalist Traugott Gerber, a friend of Carolus Linnaeus.

It has approximately 30 species in the wild, extending to South America, Africa, Madagascar, and tropical Asia. The first scientific description of a Gerbera was made by J.D. Hooker in Curtis Botanical Magazine in 1889 when he described Gerbera jamesonii, a South African species also known as Transvaal daisy or Barberton Daisy.

Gerbera is very popular decorative garden plant and is a great source for cut flowers. Thousands of cultivars are known to exist. Most domesticated cultivars are a result of a cross between Gerbera jamesonii and another South African species Gerbera viridifolia. Gerberas vary greatly in shape, size and color including white, yellow, orange, red, and pink.

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