Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Daisy




Daisy (Chrysanthemum sp., family Asteraceae ) are easily grown from seeds. In addition to being considered ornamentals, these annual or perennial plants are used as herbs and beverages in some communities all over the world.

Daisy comes in different colors. Sometimes, from just a single plant, plants with flowres of different colors are produced when the seeds are planted. This probably due to the extensive cross-breeding between different collections naturally and by breeders. A plant can produce more branches (hence more flowers) if the shoot tip is cut off when it is growing.

When the plants are flowering, the flowers attract small birds, bees and butterflies. One afternoon a butterfly visited a row of some twenty or more daisy plants. The plants with flowers of different colors are randomly distributed along the row. What amazed me was that the particular butterfly feeds on the pollen of purple-pinkish flowers only. It just hops on the orange flowers for a second or two, perhaps probing for food, then left to feed on other purple- pinkish flower. When the next purple-pinkish flower is interspersed by one, two or three plants with white or yellow flowers, the butterfly just flew over them without stopping even to make a probe.

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