Return of the Oxeye Daisies


Visitors to the Upper Orchid Field may have noticed that we are beginning to see the return of the Oxeye Daisies. People who remember the field over 50 years ago often comment on the fact that Oxeye Daisies carpeted the slope. They are still only there in small numbers but hopefully we can expect to see swathes of them in future. They can spread through a creeping underground rhizome but we shall try to help them spread by scattering seed from other plants in the vicinity.

They are commonly referred to as Dog Daisies but have many other wonderful names such as field daisies, Marguerite, moon daisy, moon-penny, poverty daisy and white daisy. They are good for bees and other insects as they produce a lot of pollen. We haven’t tried this and are not recommending it but sources say that the leaves can be eaten raw or cooked, the young shoots added to soups and salads and unopened buds pickled like capers.

These flowers have been largely driven out of our meadows with the use of herbicides but are quick to colonise road-side and motorway verges which tend to be unsprayed.