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Daisy Flower: Meaning and Symbolism

12 min read
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Belonging to the Asteraceae family, daisies captured have hearts with their simple yet charming appearance on numerous occasions. These enchanting blooms are widespread across the globe, adorning floral arrangements, gardens, and even cracks in pavement with their cheerful presence. But there’s more to daisies than their delicate petals; a daisy flower shares a meaning in many different cultures. Read more about these special blooms here.

What's in a Name? The Etymology of the Daisy

The name “daisies” originated from the Old English word "dægesēage”, meaning "day's eye”. This etymology reflects the flower's association with the sun and its daily cycle. It refers to the nature of the flower's sunny appearance as well as its behaviour of opening in the morning and closing at night. 

The Symbolism and Meaning Behind the Daisy

Daisies are quite popular for radiating cheerfulness and positivity. These blooms have a sun-like core surrounded by delicate white petals as if a radiant sun is peeking through the clouds. A daisy flower is associated with many different meanings. While many daisy species exist, the meaning and symbolism of these charming flowers often revolve around the white and yellow hues of the common and oxeye daisies. Here is a list of what daisies represent:

1. Innocence: Daisies symbolise meanings of innocence, purity, and childlike wonder. This is because of the flowers’ soft, white petals, which give a sense of freshness and purity. At weddings, daisies are tossed by flower girls to symbolise love’s purity.

2. Love and Romance: In the themes of romance, daisies are associated with true love, secret admirers, and romantic relationships. Daisies are composite flowers too, which means they are actually two flowers that have blended harmoniously together into one bloom.

3. Beauty: While appearing simpler than most flowers, daisies are also symbols of beauty and aesthetics. These flowers are admired for their charming display of cheerful petals and sun-like centres that make them visually appealing, as well as vibrant gifts to uplift any occasion.

4. New beginnings: A daisy flower evokes meaning for transformative times in one’s life, most especially for new beginnings. This makes them popular flowers for spring and wonderful gifts to welcome new chapters in life. Because of their identical resemblance to the sun, daisies symbolise a new day and represent a positive change or even a fresh start for loved ones who are graduating, moving, or going through a big life change.

5. Friendship: Other times, daisies are seen as a symbolism of friendship and loyalty. From their cheerful appearance to their simplicity and the joy they bring, daisies mirror the qualities and meaning of friendship. They make brilliant tokens to express appreciation or to celebrate a beautiful bond between friends.

6. Childbirth: Along with the symbolism of innocence, new beginnings, and childlike wonder, daisies also symbolise childbirth. These blooms are commonly given to celebrate the new beginnings of family, most especially to new parents as a way of welcoming their child into the world.

7.Cheerfulness: Lastly, daisies share the meaning of positivity and cheerfulness with a touch of nature’s sunny and colourful blooms. Whether you are choosing white and yellow oxeye daisies or pink Gerbera daisies, giving someone a bouquet of these delicate flowers is a good way to brighten someone’s day. 

The Historical Significance of Daisies

Daisies have adorned art, literature, and mythology for centuries with numerous meanings and symbolisms. While simple in appearance, these delicate petals have been appreciated by many cultures worldwide.

daisies meaning

Ancient Civilisations and Daisy Symbolism

Ancient civilisations valued daisies for their symbolism, associating them with themes of purity, innocence, and the cycle of life. They are popularly featured in art and mythology, often representing fertility, renewal, and the divine. Learn more about the daisies’ enduring presence in cultural narratives and what they represent:

Daisies as Medicinal Staples

In ancient Egypt, daisies were known for their healing benefits. They were consumed as daisies and were thought to have medicinal properties to alleviate stomach ulcers, gout, and fever. Today, wild daisy tea is still considered a natural cure for coughs, bronchitis, general pain and soreness.

Back then the Greeks and Romans used daisies to treat acne, eczema, and psoriasis. They also used daisies to make tea, which was believed to promote longevity. Aside from this, daisies were also seen to have astringent properties. Daisies were gathered and their juices would soak bandages before binding wounds. 

Daisies as Symbolisms for Purity

In Christian tradition, daisies were linked to the Virgin Mary, symbolising her purity and motherly love. They also stand for innocence in the sense of faithful love and loyalty. Daisies are incorporated into artworks to represent these values.

Daisies in Mythology and Legends

Norse mythology: In Norse mythology, daisies were considered sacred flowers because of their power to predict the future. They represented love, loyalty, and destiny. They were also associated with Freya, the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility. According to legend, whenever Freya cried, her tears turned into daisies.

Ancient Greek Mythology: According to Greek mythology, Zeus, king of the gods, fell in love with a beautiful nymph named Belides. When Hera, the wife of Zeus, learned of this, she turned Belides into a daisy to protect her from Zeus' advances. Zeus could not save Belides and instead honoured the daisy for her beauty and love. 

Another Greek myth associated with the daisy flower is about the goddess Artemis. The goddess of the hunt and the moon, Artemis, pursued a beautiful nymph named Leucippe. But Leucippe was in love with a mortal named Daphnis. When Artemis pursued Leucippe, the nymph sought help from the gods. And in return, the gods turned her into a daisy to hide from Artemis, which ended the pursuit.

Celtic Mythology: In Celtic mythology, people associated daisies with the sun, bringing prosperity and good luck. They also believed that these bright flowers were a sign of the summer solstice, which meant that daisies carried the sun's light to the earth and had a certain meaning. 

The Victorian Language of Flowers and Daisies

During the Victorian era, flowers were often used to convey messages and sentiments. A daisy flower was associated with the meaning of innocence and purity, and it also symbolised the gift of loyal love. In the language of flowers, also known as floriography, they were sometimes used to express secrecy or to agree with one’s sentiment.

Daisy Varieties and Their Meanings

Daisies are a diverse family of flowers, each carrying a unique symbolism. From the purity of the Common Daisy to the cheerfulness of Gerbera daisies, and the resilience of Cape daisies, their meanings reflect aspects of hope, love, and endurance in nature's tapestry. Here’s a quick list of daisy varieties and what each one represents:

1. Common Daisy (Bellis perennis): The Symbol of Purity

The Common Daisy, also known as the Bellis perennis, symbolises innocence and purity. These blooms boast simple yet elegant white petals surrounding a golden centre. The daisy's Latin name "Bellis" is derived from Belides, which means pretty; while the other part of the name "Perennis" means everlasting.

2. Gerbera Daisy: A Rainbow of Meanings

From bright yellows to deep reds, Gerbera daisies share the meaning of cheerfulness, joy, and optimism through their vibrant and diverse colours. These large, daisy-like blooms have a long vase life, and are popular in bouquets and floral arrangements that make exceptional, eye-catching gifts.

3. Shasta Daisy: The Classic Beauty

Shasta daisies resemble oxeye daisies with their classic white petals and sunny yellow centres. These blooms also share the meaning of purity, innocence, and simplicity. Named after the snow-covered Mount Shasta in California, these garden favourites evoke a sense of freshness and a touch of brightness on any day.

4. Cape Daisy: The Gift of Endurance

Cape daisies, also known as African daisies, captivate flower enthusiasts with their bright colours and contrasting dark centres. Originating from South Africa, they symbolise hope, energy, and transformation as they thrive in warmer conditions and bloom best in full sun. Their resilience mirrors the strength to overcome challenges and is considered a symbol of renewal to celebrate moments of change.

5. Australian Paper Daisy: Petals of Resilience

Delicate and intricate, Australian paper daisies bloom in arid landscapes, usually growing inland from the coast of sandy soils. These unique flowers symbolise resilience, adaptability, and perseverance in adversity. With their papery petals in pastel hues, they evoke a sense of fragility and beauty amidst harsh conditions.

Daisy Colors and Their Meanings

Daisy colours carry diverse meanings and messages. From white, symbolising innocence to red, representing passion, each hue reflects sentiments that range from purity and friendship to love and energy, creating a rich tapestry of symbolism that makes them meaningful additions to your home and occasions.

1. White Daisies: Purity and Innocence

White daisies have popularly symbolised innocence, purity, and simplicity. With their pristine petals and golden centres, they evoke a sense of serenity and freshness. They are often associated with new beginnings and purity of heart, carrying a timeless charm that transcends cultures and generations.

2. Yellow Daisies: Cheerfulness and Friendship

Yellow daisies symbolise cheerfulness and friendship because of their bright and sunny appearance. These blooms radiate warmth and joy, and uplift moments with feelings of hope and happiness. Their vibrant colour mirrors the optimism found in strong friendships, making them the perfect gift to convey appreciation and joyous moments.

3. Pink Daisies: Love and Admiration

With their soft, romantic hues, pink daisies share meanings of love and admiration. Their delicate petals convey affection, while their gentle colour evokes sentiments of gratitude. These flowers are often given as a gesture to express love and embody the tender emotions associated with romance and heartfelt admiration.

pink daisies

4. Red Daisies: Passion and Energy

The colour red has always been known to symbolise strong themes and emotions around the world. For red daisies, these simple yet strikingly fiery flowers symbolise passion and energy because of their vibrant and intense colour. Their daisies represent the meaning of vitality and feelings of excitement and enthusiasm. They are given as a gesture to express deep love, while conveying a powerful message of passion and vitality.

5. Blue and Purple Daisies: Mystery and Nobility

Displaying rare and regal hues, blue daises such as Felicia amelloides and purple daisies such as a easter daisies symbolise mystery and nobility with their enchanting colours. They evoke a sense of intrigue, while their scarcity conveys a sense of rarity and exclusivity, similar to the qualities associated with nobility.

6. Orange Daisies: Joy and Warmth

Orange daisies symbolise joy and warmth because of their vibrant and sunny colour. These bright booms radiate with energy and vitality, evoking feelings of happiness and enthusiasm. As they mirror the warmth of the sun, these flowers bring brightness and positivity to any occasion.

Daisies for Particular Occasions 

Daisies are versatile and universally beloved flowers that carry meaningful messages for every occasion. Their cheerful appearance and symbolism of innocence, purity, and joy uniquely convey heartfelt sentiments all year, whether in joyous celebrations, moments of loss, expressions of love, or beautiful change.

daisies flower meaning

A. Daisies in Weddings

Daisies symbolise love and new beginnings in more ways than one. As composite flowers, they are a tangible example of how two different types of florets grow together into one beautiful flower —making perfect wedding flowers to symbolise unions and the purity of love. Whether for decorations or a bouquet, daisies will add simple yet gorgeous and meaningful floral touches to your special day. 

B. Daisies as Gifts

Daisies carry diverse meanings and symbolism, making them wonderful gifts all year round. From the happiest of celebrations like baby showers and wedding gifts to even despondent times such as sick days and funerals, daisies are given as gifts of comfort, appreciation, and love for our friends and family.

Daisies are also the birth flower of April, so they’re great for surprising April-born loved ones on their special day. With many shapes, colours, and messages, the gift ideas and possibilities of daisies are endless.

C. Daisies in Funerals and Memorials 

While daisies are commonly gifted for joyous occasions, they are also considered symbols of a genuine, heartfelt “farewell.” They are placed on graves worldwide in remembrance of loved ones.

How to Care for Daisy Bouquets and Arrangements

daisy bouquets and arrangement

Daisies make a great addition to brighten up homes and celebrations. If you want to keep your daisies for much longer, here are some quick tips to help ensure a longer vase life for these vibrant blooms:

  1. Start with a fresh cut. A quick trim for your daisies can ensure they absorb water well as they age and extend their vase life. Cut the stem at a 45° angle, so you could provide them with more surface area to drink.

  2. Keep them away from direct sunlight. While daisies bloom best in the sun, cut flowers will experience a shorter lifespan if they are exposed to direct sunlight or extreme heat.

  3. Water them right. Give your daisies cool water the moment you receive them. However, some daisy stems can get soggy, so avoid submerging them in too much water. Keep your vase a little lower than usual, and only fill up to 2 inches of cool tap water.

  4. Avoid breezy spots. Daisies are prone to drooping in breezy environments. While keeping them away from indirect sunlight, consider giving them a place at home that is away from the air conditioner and open windows.

In conclusion, daisies hold a special place in the hearts of many, cherished for their delicate appearance, symbolic significance, and enduring appeal. Whether dotting a field with a blanket of white blooms or brightening a solitary corner with a single blossom, daisies continue to enchant and inspire, reminding us of the beauty and resilience found in simplicity.

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