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Oxeye Daisy

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Oxeye Daisy Seeds (Leucanthemum vulgare)

Oxeye Daisy Seeds (Leucanthemum vulgare)

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Here's a beautiful picture of an outstanding oxeye daisy being visited by a hungry hoverfly on a sunny summer's day.

Arguably, there are few flowers quite so evocative of summer as the oxeye daisy. It's long white petals and large yellow centre open in June and provide a gorgeous backdrop until Autumn.

It has the Latin name of Leucanthemum vulgare and can be found in the wild all over the world, although originally it was native to Europe. It's the largest native daisy in Great Britain.

As with many wild flowers, it was deemed to be a weed and the use of herbicides greatly reduced its numbers. Before that time, it was commonly found in meadows and corn fields up and down the land.

It's possible you know oxeye daisy by one of its other names: common daisy, moon daisy and dog daisy are the best known ones. It's most common name seems to have been adopted in the 16th century, although the spelling has changed, variously being written as ox eye, oxe-eye, ox-eye or oxeye.

As interest in wild flowers has increased in the last few years, oxeye daisy is again becoming more common in the countryside. In gardens too, it is popular; it's fairly easy to grow, so provides stunning results with minimal effort.

Whatever the size or design of your garden, ox-eye daisies make a perfect addition to the landscape. Whether in a border, a pot, or sown over bare patches of lawn, they usually thrive.

An even better idea is to let part of your garden grow wild, allowing the oxeye daisies to mingle with other wild flowers. It makes a great habitat for numerous insects.

Sometimes, oxeye daisies can dominate an area. Since it can propagate through rhizomes as well as seeds, some element of management will be necessary if it gets too out of control.

The flowers themselves are about 5cm across and grow to an impressive height: if conditions are favourable, the flowers can reach two feet or more. Ideal conditions are well-drained soil which doesn't get too damp.

The seeds can be sown all year round. Probably the best time to sow is early autumn for an early summer bloom next year. The seeds can remain viable in the soil for a number of years.

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