The day’s eye

27th March 2013

Whilst working in a school today I found lots of Daisies Bellis perennis flowering. The common name is derived from “Day’s Eye” describing how the flowers open at sunrise and set at sunset. This humble plant, familiar to all,  is edible which is normally a surprise to a lot of people. School playing fields are typical of where to find daisies, they are  extremely common weeds of lawns, playing fields and road verges.

Daisies Bellis perennis. Wild food spring foraging in the UK.
Daisy Bellis perennis


The leaves make a pleasant addition to salads with a nice fleshy texture, but they are even better cooked, where they retain this texture when cooked unlike many other greens.  The flowers and flower buds can also be eaten. Again they can be added to salads, they don’t have a lot of flavour but add an interesting splash of colour. The unopened flower buds can be pickled and used as capers.


The much larger Ox-eye Daisy Leucanthemum vulgare can be used in similar ways to its smaller cousin. It is generally found in meadows and verges preferring longer grass than the smaller daisy. it is often included in wildflower seed mixes. At this time of year, indeed throughout the winter, the leaves of the basal rosette before it starts to flower are lovely in salads having a really distinctive flavour, it is one of my personal favourites.  Also, like the Daisy. the flower buds and flower heads can also be used and have more flavour than their smaller cousin.

spring foraging UK
Ox-Eye Daisy Leucanthemum vulgare


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Kev Palmer

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