Saturday, July 28, 2012

Fun Facts About Daisies

“They’re so friendly.  Don’t you think daisies are the friendliest flower?” asks Meg Ryan’s character Kathleen Kelly in the motion picture You’ve Got Mail. I think so, and maybe you will agree.  When you want to send of gift of cheer, daisies are certainly an excellent choice.

  • What could be more pleasurable than receiving a bunch of daisies, all happy and innocent?  In fact, daisies are synonymous with innocence and purity—two of the many meanings attributed to the general daisy family. 

  • “The poet’s darling,” wrote William Wordsworth, the daisy is also a classic symbol of beauty.

  • According to Sheila Pickles, in The Language of Flowers, the daisy is the children’s flower.  Little girls have always loved to gather daisies for posies or daisy chains.  The daisy is sometimes known as Baby’s-pet or Bairn-wort, which means child-flower.

  • How many young girls have discovered their fortunes by pulling the petals off a daisy to the little verse, “He loves me, he loves me not”?  It has been said that if a girl picks a bunch of daisies with her eyes shut, the number of flowers in the posy will be the number of years before she marries.

  • Daisy means “the day’s eye”--Middle English dayeseye or, the eye of the day.  Sheila Pickles says the flower is true to its name, because it opens in the morning with the light of day.  Then when the sun sets in the evening, the daisy folds up its petals once more, as if it were going to sleep.

  • This meaning is reflected in a little poem from yesteryear, written by an unknown poet.  “I’d choose to be a daisy, if I might be a flower; closing my petals softly, at twilight’s quiet hour; and waking in the morning, when falls the early dew; to welcome Heaven’s bright sunshine, and Heaven’s bright tear-drops, too.”

  • The gerbera variety of daisy holds an added meaning of cheerfulness, which stems from the many vibrant colors available.  Bright pink, snow white, sunny yellow, and ruby red are some of the colors these happy flowers boast.

  • The gerbera daisy is the fifth most popular flower in the world, says Florapedia, an online history of flower meanings and symbols.  It ranks behind the rose, carnation, chrysanthemum, and tulip.

  • A Scotsman named Robert Jameson discovered the flower near Barberton, South Africa, in 1884.  While the daisy’s scientific name, Gerbera jamesonii, recalls the name of its founder, its common name derives from a German naturalist, Traugott Gerber. 

  • Breeding programs that began in England in 1890 enhanced the flower’s quality and color variations.  The daisy’s popularity soon traveled to growers in the Netherlands.  Today the Netherlands, along with Columbia, is the primary distributor of the flower’s cut version.

  • “Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men or animals.  Some seem to smile…,” wrote Henry Ward Beecher in Star Papers: a Discourse of Flowers.  He must have been speaking of daisies.

Are you ready to brighten someone’s day?  Many different types of flowers could express your thoughts and feelings to a loved one, but the daisy stands out as the brightest and merriest of all.


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