Monday, January 05, 2015

Daisy

I realise there is more than one species present in this photo, but those of you wanting to ignore the daisy are just being cocky. (But points will be awarded to anyone who'd like to hazard a guess at the others. And we all know what points mean.)
So, Bellis perennis is today's living thing. It's name means 'everlasting beauty'. The English is a corruption of 'day's eye' because it closes its petals at night. In mild winters it can flower all-year round.
It is in the Asterales Order which comprises eleven families. All use inulin as their storage carbohydrate (as opposed to starch).


The two main families in the order are the Asteraceae (25,000 species), for which the daisy is the archetypical species, and the Campanulaceae (2000 species), or bellflowers. The other nine families account for fewer than 500 species. I suppose that suggests evolutionary success for the Asteraceae

In the fourteenth century Mr Chaucer extols the virtues of the daisy in his 'Legend of Good Women'. 
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