If you ever made daisy chains as a child, you’ll know just how bright and cheerful these common garden flowers can be, whether as necklaces or bracelets or just on their own.
Even though daisies might be considered less flashy than other flower types, their bright yellow centres are always bound to make anyone light up.
Keep reading to learn all about the meaning of daisy flowers and loads more about these often underappreciated blooms.
Daisy Flower Meaning
These sunny springtime blooms have several positive meanings. The meaning of a daisy flower can be purity, innocence, new beginnings, joy and cheerfulness.
In the Victorian Era, daisies symbolised innocence, loyalty and an ability to keep things secret. You could give someone a posy of daisies, and in the language of flowers (floriography), this could be taken to mean their secret was safe with you.
Daisy Symbolism by Colour
What most of us probably think of as daisies are those little garden flowers with golden yellow centres and white petals. These are common daisies, also known as English daisies, Bellis perennis.
English daisies are limited in terms of their colour, usually only being white or pink.
But there are many different types of daisy flowers and flowers which take the word "daisy" in their name, such as gerbera daisies and brachyscome, a type of Australian native daisy.
These come in all sorts of different colours, all of which have different symbolic meanings!
A white daisy symbolises purity and innocence, as is common of white flowers.
A yellow daisy flower represents friendship, joy, cheerfulness and well wishes. Yellow daisies are the perfect "get well soon" flower, much like their cousin, the sunflower!
Pink daisy flowers are generally symbolic of platonic love, romance, gentleness, and feminine energies. These colours could be gifted to your best friend or to your mother, as a reminder of your friendship or as a gentle reminder of your love for another.
Orange daisy flowers are vibrant and full of energy, so it makes sense that they symbolise joy, excitement, healing, happiness, playfulness, and warmth.
A rich, ruby red, red daisy flower can symbolise love, passion and romance, particularly deep romantic love. These are perfect to gift to someone you admire or as a gift within a long-term relationship. If you’ve been partnered with that person for a long time, a bunch of red daisies can be given to signify your unbreakable love and devotion.
Purple daisy flowers mean that you’re thinking of someone, but also mean spontaneity, peace, unity, and fun. These also come in dark purple hues and could be gifted as a way of apologising or mending a misunderstanding. Purple daisies also symbolise royalty and pride.
Blue daisy flowers are the least common, and symbolise trust, honesty and loyalty.
Daisy Flower History & Insights
Where did the daisy flower originate?
This depends on the type of daisy you're talking about. Common English daisies originated in western and central Europe, the ox-eye daisy is native to parts of Asia as well as Europe, Gerbera daisies originated in Africa and Rhodanthe (a.k.a the pink paper daisy) is native to Australia.
It's safe to say that daisies are a diverse and widespread group of flowers—they originated and can still be found all over the world, on every continent except Antarctica!
Where did the name "daisy" come from?
It's thought that the name "daisy" is a contraction of the Old English name for the common daisy flower: the ‘day’s eye’. This relates to how daisies open at the brink of dawn and close again when the sun sets. The phrase "fresh as a daisy" also stems from this.
Daisies in mythology
In Celtic mythology, whenever a young baby passed away, it was said that God would drop daisies onto earth to assist the parents with their loss.
In Norse Mythology, the daisy was deemed Freya, the goddess of love and fertility's sacred flower. This gives daisies an association with childbirth.
There's also an ancient Roman myth that a nymph named Belides turned herself into a daisy in order to escape the attentions of an over-zealous god named Vertumnus.
What are the medicinal uses of daisies?
Many flowers have medicinal uses, and the daisy is no different.
Physicians in the 18th century used the daisy to assist with wounds. King Henry VIII also used the daisy to cure his eye issues, stomach pains, gout, and fever.
Today, some people use daisies for coughs, inflammation, kidney problems, and general muscle pain. However, if you’re considering the daisy as medicine, be sure to speak to a medical professional to see if it is safe for you.
Is the daisy flower edible?
Do you love flowers enough to eat them? Common English daisies can be added to sandwiches, soups, and salads, made into tea, used as dessert decorations, or even wine. They're said to have a spicy, nutty taste to them, so feel free to experiment however you like.
Other flowers in the daisy family that can be eaten include sunflowers, calendula, chamomile and dandelions.
Just make sure that the flowers have been grown specifically to be eaten—you should not eat a daisy off the side of the road or even one from a bouquet, because you simply don't know what kinds of chemicals or other hazardous materials might be present on those petals.
Popular Types of Daisy Flowers
There are many, many types of daisies and many flowers within the daisy family. Here are a few of our favourite daisies:
Also known as the African daisy, Cape margeurite or Cape marigold, these are the most popular kind of daisy due to their being available all year round and their long vase life.
Cape daisies are loved for their range of colour gradients in the centre, plus their two rows overlapping petals. They can be bright red, purple, orange, yellow, or fuchsia pink.
If you want to attract bees or butterflies to your home, the Gloriosa is easy to grow and reaches 90cm tall. A durable flower, it is resistant to the cold and is also called the black-eyed Susan for the black centre. These daisies are rich, bi-colour flowers with a deep-toned centre and delicate outer yellow petals.
The Shasta daisy mirrors the English daisy, but this flower has a larger yellow centre and can reach over 90cm tall. This daisy is also an aggressive grower, so it needs to be contained and kept away from wild areas. They also make for beautiful cut flowers as they can last more than a week in floral arrangements.
These oversized daisies are heroes of floral arranging. They come in a wide range of colours, including white, pink, yellow, orange and red, and they have a long vase life, often lasting up to 12 days once cut. With their sunny appearances, they add colour and cheer to any room they're in. A bouquet of gerberas makes a perfect get-well-soon, birthday or just-because gift.
Australian paper daisy
Also known as strawflowers and everlasting daisies, these native blooms bring lots of colour to spring gardens. They last a long time once cut, so you can enjoy their beauty in a vase for several days. Australian paper daisies come in pretty shades of pink, yellow and white, and typically have golden yellow centres.
How to Care For Your Daisies
With so many colour variations, the daisy is perfect for making joyful floral arrangements. The catchy combinations you can create are endless and will be a warm welcome for any visitors to the home.
As well as being an eye-catching addition to any room, daisies can last up to 14 days in a vase when properly cared for. Here are a few tips you can follow to ensure you get the most out of your daisy bouquets.
- Make sure to carefully cut the base of the stem at an angle so that they can better absorb water
- Remove any low-hanging leaves and foliage that will sit below the waterline in your vase
- Fill a vase approximately three-quarters to the top with fresh, cool water, and remember to mix in some flower food if available
- Make sure to check the water level and quality of your vase daily; if it becomes cloudy, it indicates the presence of bacteria. It's best to change the water and add new flower food every two days
- Daisies are very prone to wilting, so ensure you re-cut the ends of the stems every 1 to 2 days to help them keep absorbing water.
When Should You Gift Someone a Daisy Flower?
As daisies symbolise purity and innocence, they also make thoughtful gifts at baby showers and for weddings.
Being such cheerful blooms, a bouquet of daisies would also make a wonderful gift for someone who's unwell or who's feeling under the weather. Daisies are sure-fire way to brighten their day.