A Large Family (Daisies)

Daisies are members of the Compositae family, which consists of 950 different genera and over 20,000 species.

The daisy, close up.

Photo: Tambako (Flickr)

The number of petals in any individual flower depends on the species of the daisy.

There are lots of different ways in which the petals of flowers can be arranged. However, most people seem to love the simple arrangement of the ray petals surrounding a central disc that is the defining characteristic of daisies.

Daisies are members of the Composite family, which consists of 950 different genera and over 20,000 species. Found growing mainly in sunny areas in temperate regions of the world, daisies are as common as they are innocent.

A Family of Flowers…

Taxonomists divide this huge family of flowers into about a dozen different tribes: the aster tribe, the helianthus tribe, the calendula tribe, and so on. They all flower mainly in summer and fall. Their name evolved from “day’s eye.” Since they are so readily available, they were also used for a variety of medicinal purposes in days gone by and were given lots of different common names.

A Violent Death

Young girls sometimes pull daisies apart while chanting “He loves me he loves me not.” Dismemberment of daisies cannot be justified on the basis of scientific inquiry. However, the number of petals in any individual flower depends on the species of the daisy that is chosen.

The state of Maryland elevated the status of all of the daisy family when it chose the black-eyed Susan as its state flower.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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