Friday, May 27, 2016

The Difference in Daisies

When you think of daisies, you may think of a white flower with a yellow center, or a big fluffy multi-colored Gerber daisy, but the reality is, there are more than 23,000 species of daisies! With so many varieties, you may wonder what the difference is. Well, we’ve done the research, and are here to shed some light on a few different types of daisies!

Interesting Facts about Daisies

Before we begin to break it down, here are some interesting tidbits about daisies that we’ve dug up. First off, daisies have two sets of petals made up from hundreds of tiny flowers: the longer petals that we normally think of, and smaller, closer-set petals in the center. Technically, these two sets of petals are a bunch of different flowers, and join together to form a composite flower!

The name ‘daisy’ hails from the phrase ‘day’s eye’, since, along with its coloring, it opens during the day and closes at night or during inclement weather. The head of the flowers angles naturally to follow the sunlight as well. These flowers symbolize purity, innocence, and happiness, with their association with the sun and bright colors.

Not all of the daisy’s history is bright, however. In the eighteenth century, German rulers exterminated daisies because of its rumoured abortive properties (though there is no evidence that proves a daisy can cause abortion). The plant was even banned from German provinces in the 1700s!

Shasta Daisy

To start off with, we are going to talk about the most popular specie of daisy, the shasta (or common) daisy. One of the biggest daisies (but not as big as the Gerber), the shasta daisy is a cultivated flower from Europe, with the classic white and yellow colored petals. Though, like most common flowers, they are available in flower shops year-round, they bloom naturally in May, and keeps its blooms all summer long!

Daisies aren’t just good for their looks, either! Daisies leaves can be used in fresh in salads, or cooked in other various foods like soups or casseroles in order to add a bitter or sour taste with a slight sweetness.

African Daisy

African Daisies are perennial flowers that hail from, of course, Africa! Not as hardy as other plants, these plants won’t survive multiple frosts, but will thrive in warmer climates with lots of sun. Their wide variety of color ranges from white to purple, orange or yellow! What makes African daisies so interesting is that some versions of the plants have been cultivated to grow spoon-shaped outer petals! Blooming from April to August, these blooms last even longer than other flowers. This happens because they open only during the daytime, exposing the flower to less of the elements.

Gerber Daisy

Also hailing from the southern area of Africa, the Gerber made its way around the world to our local bouquets. With their large petals and bold colors, these flowers are actually quite fragile. Their stems often bend under the weight of the large bloom, and you’ll often find plastic tubes to help support the flower. These fragile stems are also easily blocked up, so changing their water often in bouquets will extend the life of both the stems and the bloom. One of the reasons that these daisies are so popular is that they bloom multiple times throughout the summer while they are continuing to grow. While Gerber daisies survive best in tropical climates, they have been hybridized to be able to survive in other climates as well.

Whether you are cultivating these flowers in your garden, or ordering in them in a gorgeous bouquet, daisies are a perfect touch to add some happiness and cheer to your assortment of flowers. Their fanning petals with their varied colors are a wonderful way to give a meaningful message and gift to those you love and care for.