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Scientific Name: Bellis perennis
Bruisewort, Day's Eye, Dog Daisy, Herb Margaret
Family: Asteraceae

A member of the Asteraceae family, the Daisy is a perennial with a flat, spreading growth-habit forming dense mats of rosettes in short grass and gravel. The name is a shortening of the original "day's eye" as the flowers only open during the day. They spread around mainly by seed, tolerate constant cutting, as the growing point is at soil level, and the treading of feet.
The oval basal leaves may be smooth or slightly hairy, and may or may not have a toothed edge. Usually they have a broad tip which narrows towards the base. Young leaves can be eaten in salads and the unopened flower buds can be pickled to use as an alternative to capers.

The crushed leaves can be used to sooth wounds and an infusion of 28g in 568ml of water is used cold as an eye wash. An ointment has been applied to burns and the flowers eaten to soothe toothache. There are a number of homeopathic remedies based on exracts from the whole plant.
The compound flowers are white, or pink to red, with yellow disk-shaped centres and flowering is year round, even in the middle of winter. They are held on stalks about 3 to 10 cm long, depending on conditions.

If the infestation is sparse they can be individually weeded out using a hand fork to loosen the roots, but as long as the growing point is removed, the fine roots do not regenerate. They can be discouraged in the lawn by keeping it well fed encouraging the formation of a dense sward, so that the grasses out-compete the daisies. This is also helped by not cutting the grass too short and keeping the lawn well watered during dry spells.
Chemical control is by a systemic herbicide like Glyphosate, or with a selective type on the lawn, either as a weed-and-feed programmme or by spot application of the herbicide alone. A residual herbicide should prevent germination on paths.


Follow these links for further details on Weeds, Weed Removal and Weed Prevention.