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Wildlife to see in March - Daisy

‘Now have I thereto this condicioun

That of alle the flowered of the mede,

Than love I most these flowers whyte and rede

Swiche as men callen daysies in our toun.’

The great 14th century poet, Geoffrey Chaucer wrote the above eloquent verse about our beautiful little daisy, apparently it was one of his favourite flowers and in another piece he calls it 'the emperice, and floure of floures alle'.

The common name of this flower is derived from Old English for ‘daeges-eye’, which means ‘day’s eye’, as the flower closes at night time and reopens every morning to welcome in the day. The scientific name is Bellis perennis, which means ‘pretty everlasting’ as it is an abundant, resilient plant that flowers at the very start of Spring and continues to do so up to the beginning of Winter. It is not just one flower but a composite of many tiny disc florets in the golden yellow centre, surrounded with much larger white ray petals, with the underside tipped a pinky red. It is the contrast between the yellow and white that is believed to attract pollinators.

Daisies are not under threat in our ecosystem, but many of the insects that rely on them are threatened. Daisies are an important early source of pollen for insects such as flies, hoverflies and emerging Queen Bumblebees. So it’s important that we allow daisies to grow within our lawns to support our pollinator populations. The best way to maximise daisy growth in our lawns is to mow once a month, this will enable the plants to flower frequently but to not get drowned out by grasses or other taller plants.

Things you can do to help Daisies grow:

1. Mow your lawn once a month!


References:

https://herbaria.plants.ox.ac.uk/bol/plants400/Profiles/AB/Bellis

https://www.plantlife.org.uk/uk/about-us/news/no-mow-may-how-to-get-ten-times-more-bees-on-your-lockdown-lawn




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