Daisy Meaning and Symbolism

daisies in a field

Daisies symbolize innocence and purity. This stems from an old Celtic legend. According to the legend, whenever an infant died, God sprinkled daisies over the earth to cheer the parents up.

In Norse mythology, the daisy is Freya’s sacred flower. Freya is the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility, and as such the daisy came by symbolize childbirth, motherhood, and new beginnings. Daisies are sometimes given to congratulate new mothers.

They also mean chastity and transformation because of the Roman myth of Vertumnus and Belides. Vertumnus, god of seasons and gardens, became enamored with Belides, a nymph. He continuously pursued her, and in order to escape his affections she turned herself into a daisy. Daisy’s scientific name Bellis, stems from this story.

Daisy’s are composite flowers, meaning that they actually consist of two flowers combined into one. The inner section is called a disc floret, and the outer petal section is called a ray floret. Because daisies are composed of two flowers that blend together so well, they also symbolize true love.

In Old English, daisies were referred to as “day’s eye” because at night the petals close over the yellow center and during the day they re-open. The phrase “as fresh as a daisy” originated from this, signifying that someone had a good night’s rest.

flower meanings for daisies

The word daisy also made its way into other slang words and phrases. In the 1800s, the phrase “ups-a-daisy” was commonly used to encourage children to get up when they fell. This eventually transformed into “oopsy daisy” or “whoops-a-daisy” — an exclamation after a stumble or mistake.

During this time “daisy” also became English slang for something excellent or appealing. This term made an appearance in 1993 Doc Holliday film Tombstone in which he uses phrases like, “You’re no daisy. No daisy at all.”

The daisy, and its meaning, also inspired renowned authors and poets throughout history. Shakespeare used a daisy chain in Hamlet to represent Ophelia’s innocence. Wordsworth also praised the daisy in his popular poem “To The Daisy.”


But now my own delights I make,

My thirst at every rill can slake,

And gladly Nature’s love partake

Of Thee, sweet Daisy!


Daisies can be eaten and are even medicinal. Daisy leaves are a common addition to salads. Wild daisy tea is used to treat coughs, bronchitis, inflammation, and more. Wild daisies are also sometimes applied to the skin for wounds and diseases.

They are also the April birth month flower.





Legend and Lore of Texas Wildflowers by Elizabeth Silverthorne