This section is from the book "Wayside And Woodland Blossoms", by Edward Step. Also available from Amazon: Wayside And Woodland Blossoms: A Guide To British Wild-Flowers.
We have already given several examples of Composite flowers, and an examination of the Ox-eye Daisy would quickly convince the reader that he has another Composite under consideration. The popular eye noted long ago its similarity to a big daisy, and named it accordingly. In Scotland, too, where the daisy is known as a "gowan," the resemblance has been recorded by calling the Ox-eye a "horse gowan." If reference be made back to the Daisy (page 1), it will be seen that the involucre consists of a single series of green scales, whilst in the Ox-eye this part of the flower consists of three or four series of scales with thin brown or purple edges, overlapping each other after the manner of the tiles on a roof. The white ray-florets are notched at the ends, unlike those of the Daisy. The Ox-eye, too, it will be noted, has a distinct stem, the leaves of which differ from those produced directly from the rootstock, being narrower, deeply toothed and stalkless. It is but too abundant in pastures and hay fields, which are effectively whitened by its flowers from May to August. The name is from two Greek words, Chrysos, golden, and anthemon, flowers, from the golden discs of the flower-heads.
There are two other British species :
I. Corn Marigold (C. segetum). A troublesome annual weed in cornfields, but as handsome as it is mischievous. Its ray-florets are of a deep yellow hue, then-tips not notched but divided into two lobes by a central indentation. The involucral bracts are broad, with wide margins. Flowers June to September.
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum. - Compositae. -
II. Fever Few (C. partheniunim). Like the Ox-eye, this is a perennial plant with a much-branched erect stem, broad pinnate leaves, downy and aromatic. The flower-heads are small, and are clustered in many-headed flat-topped bouquets (corymbs). The white rays are short and broad. Whole plant bitter and tonic. Waste places and hedgebanks. July to September.