Feature Flower Daisies - from Garden of Eden Flower Shop
Posted on March 31 2020
The month of April is the month of new beginnings: new growth, new flowers blooming, and new energy in the air! The birth flower for April is the daisy, and there’s a wealth of information on the history of this perky little flower – not the least that it symbolizes purity and innocence. An ancient Celtic legend relates that the gods would lace the earth with daisies when an infant died, to cheer the parents. Daisies are also the flower to give new mothers, because according to Norse mythology, the daisy is the goddess Freya’s sacred flower; she is the goddess of fertility.
Purity is the underlying basis of the Roman myth of Vertumnus, the god of gardens, and Belides, a nymph. In order to escape from the god’s obsessive affections, Belides became a daisy – which is where the daisy’s botanical name, Bellis, originates.
The daisy was also a staple of Ancient Egyptian gardens. When people think of Ancient Egypt, they usually think of the stately lotus flower; in actuality, the daisy was the most commonly used in floral arrangements and gardens. And when we speak of daisies in this time period, it’s not the large, single Gerbera daisy we’re talking about – they weren’t discovered until 1884 in South Africa – it’s the bush-like Oxeye and Shasta type.
The daisy is what is called a composite flower, meaning it is two flowers in one. The inner part is called the disc floret, and the outer part is the ray. Since the daisy is a mix of two flowers, they also are a symbol of true love. Keep this in mind for Valentine’s Day, as red roses and white daisies speak the perfect language of love together!
A type of wild daisy that has made its way into cultivation is chamomile. Chamomile has a prominent place in herbal medicine, for relief of coughs, bronchitis, and to help in a good night’s sleep. Another offshoot of the Asteraceae daisy family, arnica is used to combat muscle aches and wounds.
And of course who hasn’t heard slang phrases like “oops-a-daisy” and “fresh as a daisy”? The 1800’s saw the advent of “ups-a-daisy” to encourage children to get up when they fell, which eventually became “oops-a-daisy”. And daisies close their petals at night and open with the morning’s light, so the term “fresh as a daisy” means someone who is refreshed after a night’s sleep.
The history of the daisy is as complex as the flower itself. From a Neanderthal grave that was recently found to have daisies and daisy pollen in it, to being the birth flower for the month of April in our present-day era, daisies are a small flower with a big background!
Happy Birthday, April babies!