Daisy Identification

Daisy flowers make a lovely salad garnish, though I would recommend cutting them into bits. In a salad you can use ox-eye daisy greens too. There are many different sorts of daisy here I identify the most common ones you will find growing wild.

Chamomile  Daisies 

Not a favourite for culinary purposes. All parts are edible except mature roots due to toughness. The greens are impossibly bitter at all stages of development, even pickled. The flowers are okay, however.

People who have sensitive skin sometimes get a reaction when weeding chamomile daisies without gloves. Such individuals should of course proceed with care in touching them, let alone eating them. The chamomile daisy, along with its similar, “scented” relative Anthemis cotula may cause reactions similar to hay fever in sensitive people.

The “crazy” or chamomile daisy has frilly leaves along its sturdy, tall stems. The crazy daisy has classic daisy flowers with a yellow center and white petals. The leaves are frilly or finely divided and quite emerald green when young. After the rosette stage, they bolt tall and proud on sturdy stems, attended by fuzzy leaves.

Chamomile(
The stem leaves are markedly downy beneath, and pinnately divided. Almost upright with finely divided stem leaves. Stem greyish downy

 

OX-EYE DAISIES

Ox-eye daises (Leucanthemum vulgare syn. Chrysanthemum leucanthemum) unlike the frilly leaves of chamomile daisies, ox-eye daisies have thicker, dark green, lobed leaves. Those on the basal rosette are spoon-shaped—narrow and elongated down low, then widening toward the tip, with scalloped or shallowly lobed margins. The stem leaves that develop later tend to be smaller, with lobes or teeth that can be thin, short, and widely spaced into funny little nubbins. The leaves are borne alternately along the stalk.

 

Lawn Daisy & Shatsa Daisy

You might be surprised to learn that even the common Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum × superbum  and the ordinary Daisy (Bellis perennis) that you see in lawns is an edible flower. Flower buds and young leaves can be added to salads or eaten in sandwiches. They can be used as an ingredient of soups, pickled as a susbstitute for capers and used to make wine.

 Like ox-eye daisy greens, Shasta daisy greens have a strong and unique flavour, so it’s best to taste before you waste. It is a;most impossible to count  how many edible daisies and daisy-like flowers there are.

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