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Bellis perennis - L.                
Common Name Daisy, Lawndaisy, English Daisy
Family Asteraceae or Compositae
Known Hazards None known
Habitats A common plant of meadows, lawns and other grassy areas, it is very frequently found growing in lawns[17].
Range Most of Europe, including Britain, to W. Asia.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Bloom Color: Pink, White. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Late spring. Form: Rounded.

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of flower
Bellis perennis is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jan to December, and the seeds ripen from May to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, beetles, self.The plant is self-fertile.

USDA hardiness zone : 4-8

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Bellis perennis Daisy, Lawndaisy, English Daisy

Bellis perennis Daisy, Lawndaisy, English Daisy
 Lawn; Meadow;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Flowers;  Leaves.
Edible Uses:

Leaves - raw or cooked[2, 7, 52, 115]. The flavour is somewhat acrid[4]. A pleasant sour flavour according to another report[238] whilst a third says that they are mild and agreeable and are used in salads[217]. The daisy is occasionally used as a potherb[183]. Flower buds and petals - raw[144, 183]. Eaten in sandwiches, soups and salads[183].
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Anodyne;  Antidiarrhoeal;  Antispasmodic;  Antitussive;  Cancer;  Demulcent;  Digestive;  Emollient;  Expectorant;  Laxative;  Ophthalmic;  
Purgative;  Tonic.

Daisies are a popular domestic remedy with a wide range of applications[7]. They are a traditional wound herb[238] and are also said to be especially useful in treating delicate and listless children[7]. Recent research (1994) has been looking at the possibility of using the plant in HIV therapy[238]. The herb is mildly anodyne, antispasmodic, antitussive, demulcent, digestive, emollient, expectorant, laxative, ophthalmic, purgative and tonic[7, 9, 21]. The fresh or dried flowering heads are normally used[9]. An infusion is used in the treatment of catarrh, rheumatism, arthritis, liver and kidney disorders, as a blood purifier etc[9]. The daisy once had a great reputation as a cure for fresh wounds[4]. An ointment made from the leaves is applied externally to wounds, bruises etc[4, 232] whilst a distilled water is used internally to treat inflammatory disorders of the liver[4]. Chewing the fresh leaves is said to be a cure for mouth ulcers[244]. Daisies also have a reputation for effectiveness in treating breast cancers[7]. The flowers and leaves are normally used fresh in decoctions, ointments and poultices[238]. A strong decoction of the roots has been recommended for the treatment of scorbutic complaints and eczema, though it needs to be taken for some time before its effect becomes obvious[244]. A mild decoction may ease complaints of the respiratory tract, rheumatic pains and painful or heavy menstruation[244]. The plant, harvested when in flower, is used as a homeopathic remedy[232]. Its use is especially indicated in the treatment of bruising etc[232].
Other Uses

An insect repellent spray can be made from an infusion of the leaves[57].
Cultivation details                                         
Landscape Uses:Alpine garden, Border, Container, Ground cover, Rock garden. Succeeds in most well-drained soils in sun or semi-shade[188, 200]. The daisy is commonly found growing in many lawns, some varieties have been developed for the flower garden[1]. It is a good plant for the spring meadow[24]. The plants have a very long flowering season, they will even produce a few flowers in the middle of mild winters[K]. Special Features: Edible, Not North American native, Naturalizing, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for dried flowers.
Seed - sow as soon as the seed is ripe in June. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in late summer[200]. Division after flowering[200]. Very easy, it can be done at almost any time of the year, though spring and early summer are best[K]. The divisions can be planted straight out into their permanent positions.
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Expert comment                                         
Botanical References                                         
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[2]Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
[4]Grieve. A Modern Herbal.
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
[7]Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants.
Covers plants growing in Europe. Also gives other interesting information on the plants. Good photographs.
[9]Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants.
Covers plants in Europe. a drawing of each plant, quite a bit of interesting information.
[17]Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles.
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
[21]Lust. J. The Herb Book.
Lots of information tightly crammed into a fairly small book.
[24]Baines. C. Making a Wildlife Garden.
Fairly good with lots of ideas about creating wildlife areas in the garden.
[52]Larkcom. J. Salads all the Year Round.
A good and comprehensive guide to temperate salad plants, with full organic details of cultivation.
[57]Schery. R. W. Plants for Man.
Fairly readable but not very comprehensive. Deals with plants from around the world.
[115]Johnson. C. P. The Useful Plants of Great Britain.
Written about a hundred years ago, but still a very good guide to the useful plants of Britain.
[144]Cribb. A. B. and J. W. Wild Food in Australia.
A very good pocket guide.
[183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
[188]Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers
Excellent range of photographs, some cultivation details but very little information on plant uses.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[217]Les Ecologistes de l'Euzière Les Salades Sauvages
A lovely little book about some wild salads in France. Written in French.
[232]Castro. M. The Complete Homeopathy Handbook.
A concise beginner's guide to the subject. Very readable.
[238]Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
[244]Phillips. R. & Foy. N. Herbs
Deals with all types of herbs including medicinal, culinary, scented and dye plants. Excellent photographs with quite good information on each plant.

Readers comment                                         
Elizabeth H.
Mon Jul 21 2008
We have daisys but they smell very strongly like sour milk. Is this common? Should I just pull them out?
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