Dagger-flower - " A message." Another name for the iris. Dahlia - "Instability." Derives its name from
Andrew Dahl, the famous Swedish botanist. Dahlia (double) - " Friendship." Dahlia (single) - " Good taste." Daisy - " Innocence." Daisy (double) - " Participation." Daisy (garden) - " I share your sentiments." Daisy (ox-eye) - " A token." Daisy (Michaelmas) - " Farewell." Daisy (parti-coloured) - " Beauty." Daisy (red) - " Unconscious." Daisy (white) - " Ignorant of evil." Daisy (wild) - " I will think of it."
Daisies have played quite an important part in heraldry and chivalry. In tournament days, when a lady had not decided whether or no she would accept or reject her knight, she wreathed wild daisies in her hair to intimate to him she would consider his suit - "I will think of it." And if she permitted him to have this flower engraven on his arms it was tantamount to the announcement of their betrothal. "I share your sentiments, or love." The origin of the daisy is accounted for by the following dainty Celtic legend.
Malvina, weeping over the grave of her infant son, was comforted by the Virgins of Morven, who told her that they had seen her baby happily reclining upon a pearly mist, which dissolved into a shower of new flowers upon the fields - "the foam of the daisies white on the lawns."
"Behold, Malvina ! "they cried "Among these flowers we behold one with a golden disc surrounded by silver leaves; a sweet tinge of pink adorns its delicate rays; the flower of thy bosom has given a new blossom to the hills of Cromla!" And from that day the daisy was consecrated to infancy, and became the flower of innocence.
Some say it was thus called because of the resemblance which its unopened bud bears to the pearl, " daisy " being a variant of " Marguerite," meaning " a pearl." In the "Canterbury Tales," Chaucer calls it "the eie of the daie," doubtless referring to its habit of closing its petals at night or in rain. Among other stories, that which accounts for the red tips of the daisy petals is worth recording ; it is told in Eliza Cook's poem. When the Creator visited the Garden of Eden, the daisy complained of her colourless little petals and insignificant appearance when compared with the brilliant rose and flaming poppy, and was told of its future association with the sweet innocence of childhood, an association which should awaken more spiritual and beautiful emotions in the human heart than any other flower, and
Dandelion -"Rustic oracle." So called from the French " dent-de-lion" from a supposed resemblance between its pointed leaves and the teeth of lions. Its Greek name is "leon-todon " (lion-tooth). Darwin wrote how
"Leontodons unfold On the swart turf their ray-encircled gold. With Sol's expanding beams the flowers unclose, And rising Hesper lights them to repose."
It is called the " oracle of the fields," because its flowers, opening and shutting at certain hours, form a simple floral clock, while its fluffy tufts indicate calm or storm. The children call the white feathery heads which succeed the flowers " clocks," because the number of puffs of breaths required to remove the downy head are supposed to indicate the toll of the hours.
Dane's Blood, Danewort, Daneweed-" War." This little plant, like many others, is said to have sprung up from the blood of the Danes shed in battle upon Barrow Hill, near Daventry (" Dane City"), in Warwickshire, which is locally called " Dane-tree " instead of Daventry. Fable also says that the stem " bleeds " if cut upon the anniversary of the battle, which is doubtless a time when the sap is full, and readily oozes out.
Daphne Odora -"Painting the Lily." This is a species of laurel, so called after the nymph Daphne, who was transformed into a laurel to save her from the unwelcome attention of Apollo.
Darnel - " Vice."
Day Lily -"Transient beauty."
Dazzle Flower is another name for the dandelion.
Dead Leaves -" Sadness," " Melancholy."
Dead Nettle - "Harmlessness." This species does not sting.
Deadly Nightshade - "Silence." The same as the belladonna.
Dew Plant - "A serenade."
Dewberry - "Envy," "worldliness."
Diosma - "Uselessness."
Dittander - "Hot tempered."
Dittany Of Crete - " Birth." So called from Mount Diete, in Crete, where it abounds. When Juno presided over the birth of children, under the name of Lucina, she always wore a crown of dittany flowers.
Dittany Of Crete (white) - " Passion."
Dock-cress - "Maternal love."
Dodder Of Thyme -"Baseness." A parasitic plant.
Dog's Bane - "Deceit," or " falsehood."
Dog's-rue - "Contempt."
Dog-Wood - "Durability." A species of cornelian cherry noted for its hardness.