Oxeye daisy
Leucanthemum vulgare

Leucanthemum vulgare is a familiar and attractive grassland plant, growing up 91 cm tall. It is a member of the daisy (Compositae/Asteraceae) family and is visited by many insect pollinators. The name Leucanthemum originates from the Greek words leukos (white) and anthemon (flower).

Flowering from late spring to autumn, the flower head is small – less than 5 cm – and consists of about 20 white ray florets that surround a yellow disc, growing on the end of 1 to 3 ft (30 to 91 cm) tall stems. The plant produces an abundant number of flat seeds that remain viable in the soil for 2 to 3 years. It also spreads vegetatively via its root system.

The leaves are spoon-shaped and dark green on both sides. The open flower heads attract a large range of pollinating insects particularly bees, butterflies and hoverflies.

Daisies have been used in the treatment of whooping cough and asthma. The sticky leaves have been used in wound dressing. An eye lotion for conjunctivitis can be made from the flowers.

The Millennium Seed Bank safeguards practically the entire British flora in its vaults, including Leucanthemum vulgare. You can see oxeye daisy, and many other UK native species, growing in Bloomer’s Valley at Wakehurst. Adopt an oxeye daisy seed for her as a gift and ensure its long-term survival in the Millennium Seed Bank.

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