We all probably remember our childhood games when we used to rip one by one the petals of a daisy flower, and say: "He/she loves me... he/she loves me not". This flower looks like the wild chrysanthemum, that one is a totally different flower, and evidence in this respect is the chrysanthemum's Latin name: Chrysanthemum leucanthemum.
The daisy has one of the largest families of flowering plants, if we consider that it has over 1500 genera and more than 23000 species. Thus, daisies can be either annual, or perennial, whereas some even grow as shrubs or trees. Because of that, we could actually say that anyone can take his/her pick of his/her most favorite daisy type.
Among these daisy-related plants we can mention flowers like Calendula, Aster, Chrysanthemum and Dahlia. There are also some other less known plants such as Inula, Xeranthemum or Tithonia. The daisy family also bears the name of Compositae. This name suggests that the flower is in fact a composition of several different parts which form together the gorgeous daisy.
Daisy's flower head is made of a central disc, situated in its middle, which is surrounded by rays, i.e. petals or ray florets. Inside the central disc, there are in fact extremely tiny little flowers, which are called disc florets. Daisies can symbolize purity and perfection in an unjust, impure world. Irrespective of time, space or culture, these flowers were always associated with something positive and beautiful.
In the Celtic tradition, daisies are considered to be spirits of the children who had died at birth and who got permission to return to earth to comfort their mourning parents. In some Christian traditions, they are a symbol of those who return to faith and become pure by the washing of sins, and because of that it is considered to be the flower of innocence.
Daisies are a symbol of innocence and purity both for the giver and for the receiver. They are also a sign of mutual respect and trust, of consistent friendship. Daisies do not reduce themselves to love messages, but it is also one of the most beautiful love flowers, due to its significance. By offering daisies to a lovely lady, a fine gentleman can actually mean to say that she has as many qualities, as the number of the daisy's petals. Like most flower names, "Daisy" is also used for girls' names, to suggest the grace, mild fragrance and delicate beauty of this pretty flower. Irrespective of language, people mostly all over the world use the name of this flower to name their very own female children.
The name "Daisy" can also be found in many famous TV series, movies or cartoons. Thus, in "Daisy the Diesel Railcar" there is a railway engine called Daisy. Also, in Pokémon, the Kanto Gym Leaders are called Daisy, Lily and Violet. In the Super Mario Series, there is a character called Princess Daisy. Daisy Duck was one of Walt Disney's comic book and cartoon characters who initially appeared in 1940. Daisy was also a character from Toy Story 3. Daisy was the name of the main character in Baby with the Bathwater. Also, Daisy was an animated orange/yellow/green flower in Oswald; Daisy was Charlie's porn star client in Californication; also, a character in Spaced; Daisy was also the nickname of Tasuku Kurosaki from the manga series called Dengeki Daisy. Also, in Scott Fitzgerald's novella entitled "The Great Gatsby", we have a character named Daisy Buchanan. In Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom, there are two fairy twins called Daisy and Poppy. There is also a character in the Warriors novel series that bears the name of Daisy. In "Bones", Daisy is Sweet's girlfriend and in "Look to the Lady", Daisy is the local stable owner.
So much like daisies pop out most everywhere in nature, the name of this flower also appears all over the place, in real life people's names, in novels, novellas, movies, TV series and TV shows, cartoons, and so on. This may be seen as yet another proof of nature's great power of inspiring people. Apart from that, we could say that nature can also cause in people the desire to be compared with beautiful natural elements.