Where does the phrase as “fresh as a daisy” come from? Why isn’t it as “refreshed as a rose”?
Or “vibrant as a tulip”?
The coy little ladies are named daisy after the Old English saying dægesege,from dæges eage meaning “day’s eye”. Daisies open their petals every morning to the sun just as we humans open our eyes to that sun sneaking in through the drapes. As the sun sets and temperatures drop petals tuck the daisy in for a good night’s sleep. Smart people know they need beauty sleep to keep that rosy hue. These girls have clearly been resting themselves when the sun goes down, just look at them blush!!!
In scientific circles this action of opening and closing is known as Nyctinasty, and it looks as cool as it sounds! Check out this time lapse of African Daisies opening and closing:
African Daisies sleeping
This action is associated with the flower’s light receptor (known as the phytochrome) as well as the circadian rhythms of the flowers that sync up to diurnal light patterns and temperature changes. There are also biochemical factors that drive the flowers to open and close. Just like people, sleep is a complicated thing for flowers!
It won’t surprise most floral fans to hear that Gerbera, commonly known as Gerber daisies, are among the most popular cut flowers today. With an infinite variety of colors they always add character to any floral arrangement, and are often requested as featured blooms.
Perhaps the boldest character of the Gerbera family is the capitulum, or flower head, which appears as a single flower, but is actually composed of hundreds of individual flowers. The macro photo below shows the incredible details of the capitulum. These flower heads can be as small as 7 cm (Gerbera mini ‘Harley’) in diameter or up to 12 cm (Gerbera ‘Golden Serena’). They can be a contrasting color, the same as the outer petals, or a striking combination like the flower below with yellows nestled in pink. This versatility puts them at the top of the designer’s list of favorites as well!
Daisies are part of the Asteraceae or Compositae family which is the largest family of vascular plants. They are found all over the world except the extreme Arctic and Antarctica, but the most beautiful truly seem to congrgate in our shop 😉
Many popular flowers are part of this family including Dahlias, Sunflowers, and Chrysanthemums… stay tuned for more in depth posts divulging the details of these cousins.
Let us know which flowers intrigue you most and we’ll do our best to feature them in future blogs!!!
We would like to thank Wikipedia for being such a great resource for just about everything!
All photos with the exception of the Gerber close up are taken from flowers available today at Freytag’s.
The fabulous macro shot comes from Microscopy-UK. There are tons of amazing shots of Gerbers here: