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Oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)

The oxeye daisy produces a vibrant display of white flowers across meadows and roadside verges from spring until the end of summer.

Common name: oxeye daisy. moon daisy, mayweed

Scientific name: Leucanthemum vulgare

Family: Asteraceae

What does oxeye daisy look like?

Leaves: basal, often described as spoon shaped. The leaf arrangement is alternate.

Flowers: white petals surrounding a bright yellow centre. Flowers grow in solitary heads and are around three to five centimetres wide.

Not to be confused with...

Daisy (Bellis perennis): although the flower heads are much alike in appearance these are significantly smaller, only around two centimetres wide.

Scentless mayweed (Tripleurospermum inodorum): the flower heads of this plant may look similar but the leaves are very different, being slim with no distinct spoon-like shape.

Scented mayweed (Matricaria recutita): like scentless mayweed the leaves of this plant are thin and do not display a distinct spoon-like shape.

Where and when to find oxeye daisy

Where: roadside verges, meadows and waste ground.

When: a perennial which flowers from May to September.

Value to wildlife

The yellow centre of the oxeye daisy is made up of many small flowers which hold nectar, and are exploited by various pollinating insects, including butterflies, bees and hoverflies.

Uses and folklore

Medicine: traditional medicines used the plant to treat various problems, such as coughs and asthma. The flower heads have also been used to make tea.

Greek origin: the Latin name Leucanthemum is said to have originated from ancient Greek, as ‘leucos’ means white.