Ox-eye Daisy (leucanthemum vulgare)

Ox-eye Daisy is a hardy perennial. wildflower. It is also known as Moon Daisy, Marguerite and Maudlin Daisy.  Ox-eye Daisies grow to around 2 – 3 ft (60 – 90 cm) high. The word “daisy” comes from two Anglo-Saxon words – daeyes and eayes = “day’s eye”.

Ox-eye Daisies

Where to Find Ox-eye Daisies

Ox-eye Daisies are often on grassy roadside verges, including motorways. Also found in grasslands, meadows, field margins. It is also a prolific self-seeder, so once you have Ox-eye Daisies you will probably always have them!

Wildlife Value of Ox-eye Daisies

Ox-eye Daisies are particularly favoured by beetles (such as snout weevils, tumbling flower beetles, longhorn beetles), hoverflies and caterpillars.  It is also good for bees and other insects.

RHS Plants for Pollinators

Folklore Relating to Ox-eye Daisy

It was considered lucky to step on the first Ox-eye Daisy flower of the year.  Bunches of Ox-eye Daisies should be picked with your eyes shut and the number of flowers collected would equal the number of years until you married.  Somerset folklore connects the Ox-eye Daisy with the Thunder God, so it is sometimes known as Dun Daisy.  Ancient peoples dedicated the plant to Artemis, goddess of women, as it was believed that the plant was good for women’s problems.  According to ancient Celtic legend, Daisies are the spirits of children who died at birth.  Christian legend has it that when the Wise Men were going to see baby Jesus, they asked for a sign to show them his location.  As they looked around they saw a group of Ox-eye Daisies near a stable, resembling the star that led them.  In the Middle Ages, if a knight wore two Daisies he was the ladies’ choice.  

Medicinal Uses of Ox-eye Daisies

*This information is not a prescription for use. Always consult a qualified herbalist before taking any plants as remedies, particularly if pregnant or have a pre-existing health conditions*

The leaves and outer layer of stem have been used as a sedative, astringent and demulcant.  The plant is also deemed anti-spasmodic and diuretic. It is also a herbal remedy for whooping cough, asthma and stomach upsets.  In Wales during the Middle Ages, )x-eye Daisies were used to treat madness, smallpox, tumours and jaundice.  The plant makes a good lotion for wounds, bruises and ulcers.  A decoction of fresh Ox-eye daisy can be used for jaundice.  Distilled water made from the flowers can be used as an eye lotion for conjunctivitis.

Herbivorous insects won’t touch Ox-eye Daisy juice so the plant was often mixed with the straw bedding of farm animals and hung from ceilings indoors to repel fleas etc.  Dried blossoms can be boiled and used as a lotion for chapped hands.  Ox-eye Daisy root stops night sweats in consumption.  It is also alleged to deter flies if planted around the outside of the house.

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