Using Daisies in the Lab


Whether you love them or loathe them in your lawn, daisies are plants that make a useful contribution to ecological fieldwork, allowing  investigations on topics of abundance, distribution and habitats.  They are also a nice example of a plant which clearly demonstrates circadian rhythms.


Teaching Topics

  • Sampling
  • Quadrats
  • Habitats
  • Distribution
  • Abundance
  • Transect
  • Circadian rhythyms


Daisy, Bellis perennis

An abundant, small, low-lying plant visible in short turf, has white flowers with yellow centres and pink flecks that appear most of the year, except in freezing conditions. Daisies clearly demonstrate circadian rhythms, as during the course of each day the daisy’s leaves flap, the flower petals open and close, the stem grows in spurts, and the stomata open and close. In fact, the modern name “daisy” comes from the original name “day’s eye”.

Growing and sourcing

Obtaining: Widely distributed in school grounds and playing fields. No cost, but you will need to advise school ground staff not to cut when the flower heads are produced and check no weed-killers are being applied. A useful resource for this activity is the FSC playing field plants foldout guide.

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