“What flowers mean spring to you?” I asked my husband just the other night.
“Daisies.” Was his rather interesting and simple response. Intrigued I chose to pry for more information.
“Why? Daisies aren’t the first to come up. They aren’t the first to flower.” I didn’t think I would get an answer. So I was surprised when it came.
“Steve said to watch for the daisies. That they meant spring.” Steve; Ron’s beekeeping mentor, he told Ron that when the daisies came up, it was time to really gear and grow the bees. There would be a steady flow of nectar from a succession of flowering plants all the way into the fall.
“They’re little and white and come up in the grass.” Ron told me.
I was curious about the type of daisy Steve might have been talking about, so I jumped onto my computer. Daisy…Kingdom Plantae, order Asterales, family Asteraceae…Wow! Did you know that there are over 4,000 species of daisy!
Three possible types of daisy Steve could have been talking about:
Lawn Daisy (also known as Common Daisy and English Daisy)
Bellis perennis is called The lawn daisy because even mowing will not get rid of them in your lawn. This daisy originated in Europe, but is now naturalized across temperate regions of the Americas and Australia as well. It blooms late spring through fall. This plant grows low to the ground, and is considered an invasive weed by most. Though considered a weed, it is also intentionally cultivated in many gardens as a flowering ground cover. A growing number of people are now deciding to grow the lawn daisy intentionally in their yards. This is a good choice if you are going for bee friendly plants for your yard.
Erigeron annuus. Native to North America, this daisy species grows in 43 out of the 48 contiguous states. This daisy has very small flowers, but they can grow quite tall – up to 5 feet. The flowers of this daisy are often white with yellow centers. But sometimes they have pink or purple petals.
Leucanthemum vulgare. As with the lawn daisy, this daisy originated in europe, and is widespread there. It has naturally spread across temperate regions of Asia, and Turkey, and has been introduced into the Americas, Australia, and New Zealand. Cattle will not eat it, and once established, it is difficult to get rid of. It is considered an invasive weed by over 40 countries. This daisy blooms spring through fall, and has a very high pollen count. This plant grows up to 20 inches high. Though considered a weed, it is also intentionally cultivated in many gardens as a flowering ground cover. A growing number of people are now deciding to grow the lawn daisy intentionally in their yards. This is a good choice if you are going for bee friendly plants for your yard.
There are countless other wildly growing could be the flowers Steve was referring to. I wish we could ask him, though he probably didn’t know the exact species name. Steve tragically and unexpectedly passed away several years ago. I’m still not sure exactly which species Steve was talking about. I wish he was still with us, so he could tell us. We miss you Steve. This article was in memory of you.