Ox-eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)

Not to be confused with its smaller relative, the ‘Ox-eye’ Daisy is our largest native member of the daisy family. At a height of up to 65cm, its large round flower heads sway in even the slightest breeze. The flower is about 5cm in diameter and normally contains around 20 pure white florets (these look like petals) which surround a bright yellow ‘eye’. The ‘eye’ is made up of many tiny flowers that create, the one large yellow disc. The plant produces an abundant number of flat seeds that when released remain viable in the soil for 2-3 years. 

Photo Credit: Colin McAlister

You may have thought it a simple flower but the ox-eye daisy is complex and contradictory. Its name comes from Old English meaning ‘day's eye’ referencing its more common relatives whose flowers close at night and open in the morning. The Ox-eye daisy however remains open around the clock, its large blooms appear so bright that they sometimes seem to glow in the evening. As such it is often called 'Moon Daisy'.

 “At dusk it shines … like a fallen moon”. -Marcus Woodward

In bloom around the solstice from May to September, this large daisy lets us know that summer has definitely arrived on the Greenway.

Where to find it?

This big daisy is a common sight along road verges and throughout meadows in the UK and Ireland. It will be found blooming in drifts and when in flower will turn a field or roadside white in summer. Along the Greenway it has been introduced to some of our wildflower areas in the Hollow, Flora Park and Marsh-wiggle Way and we look forward to see it spread and making itself at home.

Photo Credit: Aaron Matchett, Orangefield Park

Be Part of it..

According to folklore, this flower is a symbol of patience so take just an extra minute on your way through the Greenway to slow down and appreciate this giant of the daisy world.

If you spot these anywhere on the Greenway, we would love to receive your pictures or drawings. Also if you have an idea for a future What's Growing on the Greenway plant, please let us know.