A while ago I wrote a blog post entitled “All you ever wanted to know about daisies“. Apparently though, some people want to know more stuff about them! If you are very good and don’t mow your lawn too often, then it will soon be graced by these cheery little flowers.
I had previously mentioned that its alternative name, “Bruisewort”, indicated that it was used to treat bruises and wounds. It seems that herbalists during the Middle Ages recommended it for many ailments, from catarhh to kidney problems. King Henry VIII no less, apparently ate piles of daisies to ease his stomach ulcers, but I fear the poor daisies were fighting a losing battle considering the rest of his diet and temperament.
Apart from feeding despotic kings, daisies are an important source of nectar for honey bees, bumble bees, solitary bees, hoverflies and beetles. The ring of bright white petals attract the insects and guide them to the yellow centre, which is made up of lots of tiny flowers containing the nectar for the insect to drink, and pollen which sticks to the insect and is then transferred to another daisy, thereby pollinating it.
We already know that Chaucer was a fan of daisies, but so was William Wordsworth. He wrote a poem to a daisy which can be read in full here:
WITH little here to do or see
Of things that in the great world be,
Sweet Daisy! oft I talk to thee
For thou art worthy,
Thou unassuming commonplace
Of Nature, with that homely face,
And yet with something of a grace
Which love makes for thee!
I am dedicating this blog post to my Twitter friend @PlanetBratfink not only does she love daisies, she also produced a lovely piece of art just for little me. Here ’tis, but you can view the original post here.