The Daisy Primer

Ox-eye Daisy

Here’s something even the guys should know. Yes, men folk can learn something about and from flowers, too, because they’re part of God’s creation, and amazing instruments through which God teaches us about ourselves and others. So, ladies, grab your man, serve him a cup or coffee or tea (you may want one yourself), read this together, and then chat about it for awhile. If you have kids or students, you may want to pull them into this also.

Daisies are a composite flower, which means that they have many individual flowers inserted on a flattened, broad receptacle so that they appear to be one large flower. When you look at a daisy, you’re actually looking at hundreds of tiny flowers combined!

So it is with human beings – both men and women, and children. Often we give a glance or half an ear and think we know everything we need to know about that person. Worse, we label them based on first impressions, prejudices, faulty assumptions, affiliations, or limited experience. Be honest. How many times have you formed in your mind an opinion of someone merely because they bear a particular family name, political party, religion, or physical appearance? You think you know everything you need to know based on a few pieces of information – even inaccurate information.

It’s kind of like passing a field of daisies. Duh, we know what a daisy is, right? And they’re all pretty much the same, so what about it? Well, they’re not the same, nor are what we initially assume they are. Each daisy is a multi-faceted gift from God.

So are the people in the world around us. If we slow down and observe, we’ll discover that they aren’t all the same, and they certainly aren’t who we assumed they were. Like looking more closely at a daisy, looking more closely at a person allows us to see – really see – the composite of individual gifts and attributes that God combined to form that person. He or she is composed of hundreds of tiny characteristics that make up a single, wonderful child of God. 

The White Daisy

“Every child loves this flower, and yet it is not well understood; it is always at hand for study from June until the frost have laid waste to the fields. However much enjoyment we get from the study of this beautiful flower-head, we should study the plant as a weed also, for it is indeed a pest to those farmers who do not practice a rotation of crops. Its root is long and tenacious of the soil, and it ripens many seats which mingle with the grass seed and thus the farmer sows it to his own undoing. The bracts of the involucre, or the shingles of the daisy-house, are rather long, and have parchment like margins. The overlap in two or three rows. In the daisy flower-had, the banner-flowers are white; there may be 20 or 30 of these, making a beautiful frame for the golden-yellow disk-flowers. The banner is rather broad, is veined, and toothed at the tip. The banner-flower has a pistil which shows its two-parted stigma at the base of the banner, and it matures a seed. The disc-flowers are brilliant yellow, tubular, rather short, with the five points of the corolla curling back. The anther-tubes and the pollen are yellow, so are the stigmas. The arrangement of the buds at the center is exceedingly pretty. The flowers develop no pappus, and therefore the seeds have no balloons. They depend upon the ignorance and helplessness of man to scatter their seeds far and wide with the grass and clover seed, which he sows for his own crops. It was thus that it came to America, and in this manner still continues to flaunt its barriers in our meadows and pastures. The white daisy is not a daisy, but a chrysanthemum. It has never been called by this name popularly, but has at least 20 other common names, among them the ox-eye daisy, moon-penny, and herb-Margaret.”

~Handbook of Nature Study, by Anna Botsford Comstock, copyright 1911.

Over the shoulders and slopes of the dune I saw the white daisies go down to the sea, A host in the sunshine, an army in June, The people God sends us to set our heart free.

~ William Bliss Carmen



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