Daisy MayThough many may disdain the daisy as common, who among us doesn’t cheer up when we see a field of these sunny flowers? It is this contrast of negative and positive that makes this flower—the official bloom of April—well yes, interesting.

Putting its best petal forward, a daisy symbolizes innocence, loyal love and purity. To the Assyrians, daisies cured eye troubles, and when mixed in oil it was used to turn grey hair dark. During the Middle Ages, they were used to cure insanity, treat smallpox, tumors, jaundice and skin disease. When King Henry VIII had pain due to his stomach ulcer, he ate daisies. Sheep, horses and goats think daisies are tasty, but cows and pigs do not. In Christianity, the daisy is the plant of Mary Magdalene, and to the ancient Greeks, it was dedicated to Artemis, the goddess of women. Daisy chains, a popular thing for children to make, are also part of the Newcomb College (now Newcomb College Institute) graduation activities. The daisy has been used as a decorative element on jewelry, ceramics and other items since the days of ancient Egypt. Dreaming of daisies in the spring and summer is good luck, but in the fall and winter, it’s bad luck.

Which brings us to the daisy’s dark side. While we may find a field of daisies a sight of beauty, to a farmer it was not because it could take over fields and gardens—in olden days Scots called daisies “gools” and had “gool riders” remove them from the wheat fields.

But a true opinion about daisies may center upon the famous rhyme, “He loves me, he love me not,” by which plucking a daisy’s petals one could find out the fate of a romance. Like most things in life, it could go one way or another—positive or negative. And doesn’t that make life more interesting?