Bellis perennis (Bellis is Latin for “pretty” and perennis is Latin for “everlasting”) is a common European species of daisy, of the Asteraceae family, often considered the archetypal species of that name. Daisy is used as a girl’s name and as a nickname for girls named Margaret, after the French name for the oxeye daisy, marguerite.Young leaves can be eaten raw in salads or cooked, noting that the leaves become increasingly astringent with age. Flower buds and petals can be eaten raw in sandwiches, soups and salads. It is also used as a tea and as a vitamin supplement.
Many related plants also share the name “daisy”, so to distinguish this species from other daisies it is sometimes qualified as common daisy, lawn daisy or English daisy. The flowerheads are approx. 2–3 cm in diameter, with white ray florets (often tipped red) and yellow disc florets.
Although the ‘flower’ may appear to consist of a yellow centre with white petals, this is not the case. Each individual “petal” is itself an individual flower, called asterales. In the centre there are also many tiny yellow flowers. The different colours and styles of flower work together in order to attract insects. This type of flower is known as a composite flower. They are produced on leafless stems approx. 2–12 cm tall.