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02 May 2014

Sweet Ox-eye Daisy

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Herbal Medicine, Local Plants

cw cropped hatAfter the dormant months of winter, springtime is so sweet—made even sweeter by the appearance of that delightful lady, the oxeye daisy. I feel elated this time of year when I catch sight of her curvy, dark green leaves.

It was her flower — a beautiful, large yellow center surrounded by spreading white petals — that first drew me to her. Then I came to recognize the unique shape of her leaves. Oxeye daisy has toothed leaves like dandelion, but each of the little lobes are distinctly rounded and spoon-shaped.

 

oxeye daisy 1When I tasted those leaves, I was surprised by the sweetness and excited to discover such a delectable botanical delicacy right outside my door. The kids in my community at Earthaven now fondly call oxeye daisy “nature’s candy”, and I agree.  I love to snack on the leaves when I come across her in the garden, and they add a unique note to wild salad greens all through the warm seasons. I even like to add the leaves to my deviled eggs.  

Oxeye daisy is sweetest just before and as she begins to flower and, as I came to know her better, I could identify the distinct shape of her leaves earlier and earlier each year.  This means that I can enjoy more of her deliciousness in the early spring.  It’s important to become very familiar with her if you plan to harvest before the flowers appear, however; the poisonous water hemlock also has deeply divided leaves and you don’t want to make a mistake. When in doubt, always wait for the flowers to bloom to confirm identification.

In her healing gifts, her lovely flowers and in her sweet flavor, the oxeye daisy is a very welcome taste of spring!

About the Author

Corinna Wood

Corinna Wood

SEWWnewsletterSidebarAdCorinna Wood is founder and director of Southeast Wise Women and co-founder of Red Moon Herbs. With extensive training and experience in herbal medicine and spiritual psychology for women, Corinna has been practicing, teaching, and carrying on the Wise Woman Tradition for over 25 years.

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