Bellis perennis 'Bellissima'
Bellis perennis ‘BELLISSIMA WHITE’
A member of one of the largest plant families, Asteracea, containing 32,913 species, Bellis or “English Daisy” is just one of many composite-type flowers. Like a sunflower, composite flowers are not just a single flower as they appear, but hundreds of flowers grouped together to form one capitula. These flowers close up at night, earning the title of ‘Days eye’. Chaucer called Bellis, “eye of the day”. Bellis is considered valuable in English-Cottage inspired gardens. Bellis is one of the many flowers mentioned by Ophelia in Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’, and is thought to be a symbol of innocence.
Native to Europe and Asia, these composite flowers bloom on simple 3-6” long simple erect stems, with dark green spoon shaped leaves forming a rosette at its base. These flowers often infiltrate lawns, and are often referred to as ‘turf daisies’. Blooming more when dead flowers are picked off, they don’t even mind the mower, and will spring right back up after a trimming. They also work well as a rugged groundcover in between garden stepping stones, as they can handle moderate foot traffic. They are easily grown in organically rich, fertile soil that is consistently wet and well-drained, in full to partial sun. Ours are beginning to bloom now, and will continue through spring and summer, and do beautifully in containers. The herbaceous leaves of Bellis have astringent properties, and are mentioned as far back as the 16th century in Gerards Herbal and are used homeopathically to treat skin bruising, and lung problems. The younger leaves can be used in salads, soups, or made into tea.
We are currently growing Bellis ‘Bellissima White’ and ‘Bellissima Mix’ (a mix of white, pink, and red) in 6 packs. Give us a call, “Like” us on Facebook, or check out our website at www.clearwatercolor.com to see photos and learn more about this plant and many others we are growing.