The national flower of Italy is the daisy, which was chosen as such because it was the favorite flower of Queen Margherita of Savoy.
The National Flower of Italy – Information, Description, and Appearance
Bellis perennis, also known as daisy, grow up to 2″-8″ (5- 20 cm) in height. Its ovate leaves are collected in a rubellite. In turn, the flower forms a single basket. The petals of common daisies are arranged in two rows. The outer row is female flowers; while the inner row is made of yellow bisexual flowers. The anthers are fused and the stamens are free.
The flowers of Bellis perennis are 0.4″ to 2″ (1 to 5 cm) long. The smallest is a characteristic feature belonging to meadow daisy varieties. And the largest for garden varieties (for example, Super Enoma). Bellis perennis blooms from March until the first frost, which is most of the year. It is worth knowing that the noblest varieties of daisies bloom until July.
The flowers are pollinated by butterflies, flies, and wasps. There are many varieties of daisies; they differ in the color of flowers (white, pink, red), their size, and structure.
It should be noted that the petals of daisies react very strongly to light. The calyxes open at dawn and close when it begins to get dark. The flowers contain numerous nutrients, such as saponins, tannins, flavonoids, organic acids, and anthocyanins. The young leaves of Bellis perennis are vitamin C and mineral salts. They are used for various ailments and health care purposes.
Cultivation and Care of National Flower of Italy
Growing a perennial daisy is not difficult, as it is hardy and undemanding. Primarily, it requires a fertile, well-drained substrate and a sunny or semi-shaded location. It tolerates a fairly wide pH range, from slightly acidic to slightly alkaline, which makes it a fairly practical flower to grow.
For proper growth, it is necessary to systematically remove blown flowers. The plant should be watered regularly to keep the soil slightly moist. Not wet. To do this, it should be fertilized moderately (up to 3 times per season). In addition, you can put a little fertilizer at the bottom of the seed well during planting. Bellis perennis is most often grown outdoors, but will also do well in pots on the terrace or balcony.
It is not necessary to dispose of old daisies in pots, as they can be transplanted into the garden, where they are sure to tie up seeds and “spread” themselves. By autumn, the seedlings will appear in the form of small rosettes of leaves, which will bloom next year. Different varieties of common daisies crossbreed with each other quite easily. This is because the insects that pollinate them carry pollen and genetic material from other varieties. Therefore, if different varieties grow together, they may slightly change the appearance of their flowers during the next year.
Daisy, How Are Reproduction and Harvesting?
Daisy reproduces very easily, so it is sometimes treated as a useless weed. After a few warmer days in March, the first flowers appear, the number of which is growing rapidly.
Daisies are most often propagated by seeds (they germinate after about 10-12 days). Likewise, they are sown in the ground in June or early July. After the seeds emerge, the seedlings should be drilled into the beds. Per seedling, seeds are sown in boxes in June and July and permanently planted in August.
Alternatively, they can be sown in rows spaced at least 6″ (15 cm) apart, and then hilled; this will facilitate proper root growth.
The species is hardy, but some noble varieties in flower beds should be covered if heavy frosts occur in your region.
Daisy can also be dug up with the roots and then planted anywhere in the flowerbed. For this purpose, we dig a hole, which is to be covered, ideally with soil for flowers. Thus, next year we will be presented with new flowers.
Harvesting is carried out over a long period, from early spring to autumn. We collect flowers of common daisies on a sunny day. To dry the flowers well, it is best to spread them on paper, in the shade, and in a well-ventilated place. Daisy leaves are also suitable for harvesting, for example, they are somehow used as fresh leaves for salads.
Common Daisy: Properties, Application
Daisy or Bellis perennis is used in medicine mainly for the flower. In folk medicine, the flowers of the meadow daisy were given the power to purify the blood. It works in such a way that the substances in the infusion of dried daisies improve the elimination of toxins from the body: harmful metabolic products, for example, uric acid. Which in turn improves the liver. Daisy tea is also a way to improve the digestive process.
In addition, it has an anti-inflammatory and astringent effect, thanks to the content of flavonoids and tannins. An infusion of daisies is an effective remedy in the case of intestinal or bladder diseases. In turn, daisy flowers used in baths facilitate wound healing, for example, in eczema or acne. Daisy tea can also be used as an aid in the treatment of diseases of the upper respiratory tract because it has an expectorant and anti-inflammatory effect. To prepare daisy tea, we should pour boiling water over a tablespoon of flowers and leave it covered for about 20 minutes. During colds or diseases of the digestive system, it is drunk up to 3 times a day. It is also popular to add daisies to honey. To do this we pour a handful of daisies into half a liter of honey. Then the jar is left to stand for almost a month. This mixture strengthens the immune system.
If you liked this article about the national flower of Italy we recommend our other article about African Daisy from Seed.