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Daisy Plant

A Quick Guide to the Daisy Plant

The daisy plant is a member of the Aster family (Asteraceae), which has in total over 20,000 different species. It is a huge family of plants that is thought to be composed of ten percent of all the plants on earth. Some of the members of the Aster family don’t have much in common. For instance, artichokes, lettuces, sunflowers and endives are all in the same family as the daisy plant.

Daisies are one of the most-loved flowers on earth. Their name came from the Anglo-Saxon words for “Day’s Eye,” because English daisies opened up their blossoms in the morning and closed them at the end of the day. The daisy plant originated in Europe and has been known in both England and the United States since the seventeenth century. English daisies originally had a yellow center and white petals.

Over the years there have been many changes in the daisy plant. For instance, today daisies come in just about every color and every size. They are an easy plant to grow and can now be found in every country in the world. One of the most colorful daisies is the Gerbera Daisy. It is the fifth most popular cut flower in the world.  They are very bright and come in red, white, yellow, pink, orange, violet and other colors, with a flower that is four inches wide. The Gerbera Daisy originated in South Africa and was found and developed by a man from Scotland named Robert Jameson. It was named after Traugott Gerber, a naturalist from Germany, and not the Gerber of Gerber baby food as many people believe. Gerbera daisies are a popular holiday gift.

Other species of the daisy plant that perform well in backyard gardens include:

The Dahlberg Daisy, which is a ground cover plant, has pretty yellow flowers that are around an inch large. It grows to be approximately a foot high and each plant takes about two feet of space. It survives well under varying conditions including lack of rain. It’s quite disease-resistant. It comes in other colors as well.

The Bravado has beautiful pinkish lavender flowers that are as wide as four inches. The center disc is more orange than yellow. This is a flower that has strong stocks, making it perfect as a cut flower. It is almost maintenance-free and is not bothered by pests or disease.

The Shasta Daisy originated in California, but there are now hybrids of this daisy plant that have been developed to grow in the hotter climate of the far south and in northern regions with colder temperatures. The Shasta Daisy is a brilliant white with yellow center but it grows taller than English Daisies--over three feet high, and it has blossoms that are 3-½ to 4 inches wide. It is a daisy plant that is easy to grow and maintain.



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