Sleepy Daisy Heads

Do you ever find yourself wondering about something you must have known when you were a kid, but you’ve long since forgotten? I do all the time. One early rainy morning this week, I noticed the daisies had their petals up, like little umbrellas blown inside out. Only a couple of days before, they were fully open, as if the yellow centres were little mirrors of the sun and the petals were rays of light. I found myself wondering if they close up because it’s dark or because it’s raining. It feels like something I would have known when I was little.

Luckily, Google’s there to plug those kind of memory gaps. Daisies are actually amazing. Like lots of other flowers, they close up at night and open during the day. This gave them their Old English name ‘daes eag’ which means ‘day’s eye’. But not only do they close at night, they also close on rainy days. Scientists think they detect moisture in the air before the rain starts to fall and close to protect their pollen from raindrops. So, if you see closed up daisies during the day, rain’s probably on the way.

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