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Bellis Perennis


The Jo-Anna Plant Encyclopedia:  Bellis Perennis...

Bellis Perennis, is quite simply a perennial daisy.  It belongs to the Asteracae family which is basically a family name for over 20,000 different species of flowering plants including sunflower, dandelion, achillea, coneflower, chrysanthemums and many more.  Bellis is latin for 'pretty' and Perennis 'everlasting'.  Unless you have been out in the garden at night you will not have noticed that Bellis close at night.  They open again at first light which is where they believe the name daisy has come from... days eye....  The English poet Geoffrey Chaucer, used to refer to daisies as the 'Eye of the day'.


bellis perennis  perennial daisy english daisy european daisy  woundwort bruise wortCopyright 2014 Jo-Anna Cottage Plants


Quintessential Cottage Garden Daisy...

When most people talk about the Bellis Perennis they are more often than not referring to the quintessential cottage garden double double daisy.  As you can see from the picture above, they are generally red, pink or white and any combination of the 3 colours.  I remember being totally enamored by these as a child.  We had grown our first batch on the nursery and the urge to sit on the grass and pull one of these giant blooms apart petal by petal was all too great.  "He loves me... he loves me not... he loves me... he loves me not"...  At least treble the size of a plain daisy you find in your grass and with many many more petals it was a sure child's delight.  I am sure that if you have young children in the family they will receive equally as much pleasure as I did.  Bellis Perennis will sit beautifully at the front of your border giving a real feel of the English cottage garden.




Flowering and Foliage...


Bellis Perennis foliage is generally evergreen which is a real bonus... some green in the garden through the winter is always welcoming and the continual blooms that start from early spring right through the summer are equally as pleasurable.  If the winter is mild or you live in a mild area you may even find a few blooms 'out of hours' so to speak. It is not unknown.



Do bear in mind  that if you live in an area that gets very cold, or, if we have a very sharp winter, then some of the leaves may die off. As a general rule you do not need to worry; the RHS say that most varieties can withstand temperatures of -34 deg c.  Let's face it, the daisies in our lawns generally don't die off. Whether they grow back by self seeding or survive winter after winter, it does not matter. Once planted you will almost certainly have a continual display.  




Planting, Positioning & Suitability...

Bellis Perennis are incredibly easy to grow.  As long as they have full or partial sun and are kept relatively moist in well drained soil they are sure to perform without much hassle.  It is always recommended to deadhead but towards the end of the season if you leave them to seed you are sure for an even greater show the following year.  Do not be surprised though if the new plants are not identical... but they will still be 'showy'.




Bellis are versatile and will generally grow anywhere as long as they do not become too dry and they hate being too damp and waterlogged.  The cottage garden border, modern perennial border and the most fitting place for them has to be a spring meadow when the grass is still relatively short and you have not got lots of other natural flowers competing for space.  




Mature Height, Spread and Characteristics...

Bellis Perennis are considered mat forming plants. They are fantastic ground cover and will in time with encouragement to aid their maturity and spread, suffocate many problem weeds. Depending on the variety, the blooms will reach between 1 and 6cm across and will either be single, double or pom pom. They can reach up to 15cm tall at maturity.  





Other interesting facts...

THIS INFORMATION IS PROVIDE FOR INFORMATIVE PURPOSES ONLY AND WE WOULD NEVER RECOMMEND THAT YOU TRY FOLLOWING ANY OF THIS....

Bellis Perennis has had many herbal and culinary uses over the centuries...

The leaves and flowers of daisies have been classed as herbs and it is said can be either eaten raw in salads or sandwiches or cooked to make soups.  Additionally, they have been used as vitamin supplements and as teas.  

Also known as woundwort and bruisewort, it shoud come as no surprise that they were used medicinally in particular by the Romans.  Their slaves would be made to gather sacks full of them. The juice would then be extracted and added to dressing and bandages.  It is also said by some that the Australians use the flowers and leaves for their astringent properties in fighting off respiratory tract and gastrointestinal problems.






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