Daisy Meaning through the Ages
Daisy Meaning in the Middle Ages
Daisies are often depicted in meadows in medieval paintings, also known as a “flowery mead.” Daisies are believed to be more than 4,000 years old and hairpins decorated with daisies were found during the excavation of the Minoan Palace on the Island of Crete. Even further back, Egyptian ceramics were decorated with daisies.
Spiritual Meaning of a Daisy
The spiritual meaning of a daisy varies from culture to culture. Romans associated daisies with the story of Belides, a nymph who was being pursued by Vertumnus, the god of seasons and gardens. To get away from his unwanted attention, she turned herself into a daisy. This story is where the flower’s Latin name, Bellis, comes from today.
In Norse mythology, daisies are associated with the love goddess Freya. In this context, the daisy symbolizes motherhood, childbirth, sensuality, and fertility. For the ancient Celts, the spiritual meaning of a daisy comes from the belief that when a child dies, the gods will sprinkle their grave with daisies to comfort the grieving parents.
In the Christian tradition, daisies have been used in Mary Gardens. These are symbolic gardens created in honor of the Virgin Mary. The daisy is also symbolically connected to St. John.
Why Daisies Mean Loyal Love
Daisies are composite flowers, meaning that they actually consist of two flowers combined into one. The inner section is called a disc floret, and the outer petal section is called a ray floret. Because daisies are composed of two flowers that blend together so well, they symbolize true love or loyal love. Daisies are also the April birth month flower, a popular month for spring weddings.
Daisy Name Meaning
The family Asteraceae (known as the aster, daisy, or sunflower family) is the largest family of flowering plants. The name ‘Asteraceae’ is derived from the type genus Aster, meaning star. The family comprises more than 1,600 genera and 23,000 species. Asteraceae are most common in the temperate regions and tropical mountains. Daisies are non-fragrant flowers that originated in Africa.
Some believe the name daisy come from “day’s eye” because the flower is only open during the day and closes up at night. Another name is “thunderflower” since it blooms in the summer when thundershowers are common.
In addition, the daisy is believed to keep away lightening. For this reason, it was also kept indoors. A common name in England for the flower is bruisewort since the crushed leaves could be used for soothing bruised or chapped skin.
Daisy Color Meaning
The daisy that most people think of is the classic white Gerbera daisy. Daisies also come in pink, red, yellow and blue or violet. Daisies are the fifth most popular cut flower around the world. White flowers generally symbolize purity, contemplation and innocence. Many night-flowering plants are white, symbolizing the feminine energies of the moon.
White flowers include daisies, daylilies, gardenias, alyssum and baby’s breath. Use white to give breathing space in your garden from the intensity of bright colors. White daisy color meaning is particular connected to the association of daisies with purity and simplicity.
Yellow flowers are the heralds of spring. Sunshine yellow flowers symbolize the clearing away of the winter and stimulate clear thinking. Well-known yellow flowers include daisies, daffodils, crocus, irises, daylilies, coneflowers, dandelions and chrysanthemums. The daisy color meaning for yellow is enthusiasm, cheerfulness, sense of humor, fun, optimism and intellectuality.
Pink daisy color meaning symbolizes love and healing from grief, anxiety or emotional trauma. Other pink flowers include chrysanthemums, irises, daylilies, camellias, azaleas, carnations, peonies and dahlias. Pink is related to warmth and love, gentleness, beauty, and an outward orientation.
Blue flowers symbolize the peace of ocean and sky. The impact of blue flowers is cooling and calming. As a general meaning, blue symbolizes water, the source of life. Daisy color meanings for blue flowers are related to freedom, strength and new beginnings. Blue skies mean optimism and better opportunities.
Daisy Symbolism in Language
The word “daisy” has made its way into slang words and phrases. In the 1800s, the phrase “ups-a-daisy” was commonly used to encourage children to get up when they fell. This eventually transformed into “oopsy daisy” or “whoops-a-daisy” — an exclamation after a stumble or mistake. During this time “daisy” also became English slang for something excellent or appealing. This term made an appearance in 1993 Doc Holliday film Tombstonein which he uses phrases like, “You’re no daisy. No daisy at all.”
Daisy Symbolism in Literature
Daisy symbolism also inspired renowned authors and poets throughout history. For example, Shakespeare used a daisy chain in Hamlet to represent Ophelia’s innocence. In addition, Wordsworth praised the daisy in his popular poem To the Daisy: “But now my own delights I make, My thirst at every rill can slake, And gladly Nature’s love partake, Of Thee, sweet Daisy!”
Famous Songs Using the Name Daisy
In 1892, Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two) was written by Harry Darce. The song is purported to be about Daisy Greville, one of the many mistresses of King Edward VI. The song was an immediate hit when performed at the Atlantic Gardens on the New York Bowery that year.
The song was later recorded by Nat King Cole on his 1963 album Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer. The chorus of the song is a light-hearted proposal: “Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do; I’m half crazy all for the love of you; It won’t be a stylish marriage; I can’t afford a carriage; But you’ll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two.”
Culinary and Medicinal Uses of Daisies
Daisies can be eaten and are even medicinal. Daisy leaves are a common addition to salads. Daisies are easy to find through foraging. Wild daisy tea is used to treat coughs, bronchitis, inflammation, and more. Wild daisies are also sometimes applied to the skin for wounds and diseases.
Commercially important plants in the daisy family include the food crops lettuce, chicory, globe artichoke, sunflower, safflower and Jerusalem artichoke. Other commercially important species include flowers used as herbs and in herbal teas and other beverages.
Chamomile and calendula are grown commercially for herbal teas and the potpourri industry. Echinacea is used as a medicinal tea. Modern analysis has found that daisies contain nearly as much vitamin C as lemons! A research study published in 2012 also appears to confirm the medicinal properties of daisy.
This study found that 100% of the wounds treated on rats with an extract of daisy healed perfectly without any scarring. The researchers concluded “Thus, traditional usage of wound healing activity… was scientifically verified for the first time.”
History of the Gerbera Daisy
In the year 1727, the Gerbera daisy variety was discovered in Africa by Jan Gronovius who decided to name the Gerbera flower after his colleague, a German botanist and medical doctor, Traugott Gerber. In 1827, the flower was introduced to the United Kingdom. There the production was further refined and cultivated. In 1950, the Netherlands became the largest country in the field of development for the Gerbera flowers. Moving forward to the year 1975, the Gerbera daisy became a very popular cut flower. The daisy is now exported extensively due to high demand.
More Flower Resources
Explore the meaning of flower colors, the history of the Victorian language of flowers, the symbolic meaning of flowers in art and over a dozen articles on specific flowers on this website. Visit Flower Symbolism. More on the web: Top 15 Most Exotic Flowers Around the World.
Flower Symbols: The Language of Love
The information in this article is inspired by the book Flower Symbols: The Language of Love by Kathleen Karlsen. Includes extensive flower meanings and folklore about the world’s most beloved flowers. The perfect gift for yourself or a flower lover in your life!