This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol2-4", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
Fruits of the Marguerite, so welcome a sign of summer in our fields, have been found at Silchester. The distribution of this common plant is limited to the North Temperate and Arctic Zones in Arctic Europe, Siberia to Asia, and it is introduced in North America, ranging throughout Great Britain, and ascending to 2100 ft. in Wales.
The Ox-eye Daisy is a familiar sight in spring and summer in every meadow and field, and is also common on railway banks, contributing" to make them unusually gay at those seasons with a wealth of white and golden bloom. It is to be found on hills, and in valleys, by the wayside, and even amidst the corn, being everywhere a favourite, common though it is. Every meadow or railway bank is covered with extensive patches of the Marguerite in summer, and when in flower it is a beautiful sight.
Photo. B. Hanley - Ox-eye Daisy (Chrysanthemum Leucanthemum, L.)
The Ox-eye Daisy has the rosette habit more or less. The plant is either devoid of hairs or sparingly hairy. The stem is erect, simple or branched, furrowed. The leaves are dark-green, bluntly cut or divided. The lower leaves are inversely egg-shaped, spoon-shaped, stalked, with the stalk winged, auricled; the upper are oblong, blunt, cut, stalkless, deeply divided nearly to the base at the base, half clasping.
The flowerheads are borne on slender stalks, broad (2 in.), solitary, terminal. The disk florets are yellow, the ray florets white. The phyllaries are blunt, lance-shaped, with a narrow, dark-purple, membranous border. The ligules are 6-notched at the tip. The fruits are all rounded, without a border, with equal ribs, those of the ray florets having a small crown.
Marguerites are commonly 2 ft. in height. The flowers may be gathered in June and July. The plant is perennial, increased by division of roots.
The flowerhead is large and conspicuous, 40 mm. across. The plant is gynomoncecious, the ray florets female, the disk florets complete. The ray florets are ligulate, the disk florets tubular. In the disk, 12 - 15 mm. across, there are 300 to 500 florets. The corolla is 3 mm. long. The ray florets are 20 to 25, and possess functionless stamens. The ray florets have a white external ligule, 14 - 18 mm. long and 3-6 mm. broad.
The throat of the disk florets is short, hardly 1 mm., and the honey is therefore accessible to short-lipped insects. In the male stage the pollen rises above the toothed corolla, in the second or female stage the stigmas take the place of the anthers, and are projecting. When an insect crawls across the capitulum it therefore cross-pollinates many florets. Spreading hairs on the style form a tuft which sweeps the pollen out of the tube as the style grows longer. Two separate broad rows of papillae border the style below the tip, and pollen lies on the outer edges, so that self-pollination results if the pollen is not removed by insects, and when they do not visit the flower it regularly occurs.
The plant is visited by insects, Hymenoptera, Diptera, Lepidoptera, and Coleoptera.
The fruits are aided in their dispersal by the wind, being light and flattened.
The Marguerite is essentially a sand-soil lover. It may be found, however, on clay soil to some extent also, growing on sandy loam.
Phytomyza affinis mines the leaves. Three beetles, Centorhynchus campestris, Longitarsus Iaevis, Mantura chrysanthemi; two moths, Sciaphila wahlbomiana, Bucculatrix aurimaculella; a Homopterous insect, Aphalara picta; and the flies Tephritis leontodontis, Spilo-grapha artemisia, S. Zoae, Chromatomyia a/biceps, all feed upon it.
Chrysanthemum is from the Greek words, chrysos, gold, and anthos, flower. Leucanthemnvi, Dioscorides, is from the Greek leucos, white, anthos, flower.
The Ox-eye Daisy is called White Bothen, Bozzom, Caten-aroes, Cow's Eyes, Daisy (Big, Bull, Butter, Devil's, Dog, Dun or Dunders, Field, Great, Horse, London, Midsummer, Moon, Ox-eye, Poor-land, Thunder), Daisy Goldins, Large Dicky Daisy, Dog-flower, Espibawn, Gadgevraw, Gadjerwraws, Girt Ox Eye, White Gold, Goode, Gowan (Horse, Large, White), White Gowlan, White Gull, Horse-pennies,
Hoss-daisy, Magweed, Maudlinwort, Mayweed, Moon, Moonflower, Moon-pennies, Dutch Morgan, Ox-eye, Moon Penny, Poverty Weed.
From its size and coarseness it is called Horse Daisy, and Midsummer Daisy from its flowering about Midsummer, Poorland Daisy from its growth on poor clay lands.
Though horses and sheep eat it, other animals will not touch it. The leaves are unpleasant, the smell aromatic, the taste neither hot nor biting. This plant was used in diseases of the chest, asthma, phthisis, and as a diuretic.
Essential Specific Characters: 160. Chrysanthemum Leucanthemum, L. - Leaves mostly radical, lower petiolate, upper pinnatifid, sessile, obovate, ray florets white, disk yellow, phyllaries with narrow, purple, membranous border.