This mainstay in
the floral industry is enjoying a new-found popularity.
by Steven W. Brown, AIFD
Marguerite, Paris daisy
Photo courtesy of California
Cut Flower Commission
1 forget me not.
Argyranthemum frutescens (pronounced ar-ji-RAN-the-mum froo-TESS-enz)—syns.
Chrysanthemum frutescens and Leucanthemum vulgare—is commonly known as
“marguerite” or “Paris daisy.” “Marguerite” is French for “daisy.” The
genus name for this flower has been changed from Chrysanthemum to
Argyranthemum as botanists refine their efforts in classifying plants.
2 family and origin.
Marguerites are native to the Canary Islands and Madeira Islands, off
the northwest coast of Africa, and are members of the huge Asteraceae (Compositae)
family, which has the largest number of commercially grown plants in the
world (some 950 genera and 20,000 species). Cut flower relatives include
yarrow (Achillea), Asters/ Callistephus, Calendulas, safflowers (Carthamus),
Dahlias, Dendranthema (chrysanthemums), Gerberas, sunflowers
(Helianthus), marigolds (Tagetes) and Zinnias as well as many vegetable
crops like lettuce.
3 a trio of colors.
Marguerites are available in white, yellow and pink, all of which have
yellow centers. Many growers use dye to alter the colors. There also are
single and double varieties.
4 a seasonal crop.
Marguerites are mostly an outdoor crop and are available year-round from
domestic (California) growers.
5 shopper secrets.
Look for blooms that are showing color and are about one-third open.
Make sure the centers are tight. If marguerites are harvested too early,
the blossoms might not open. Avoid bunches that have signs of mold or
damaged foliage and flowers. These flowers will generally grow to about
1 foot tall.
6 standard processing.
Upon arrival in your store, unbundle the bunches of marguerites, and
remove any broken, bruised or damaged foliage that would fall below the
water line in buckets or vases. Cut the stems on an angle, removing at
least 1 inch, and dip or place the stems into a hydration solution.
Next, place the stems into a clean bucket containing a properly prepared
fresh-flower food solution that is 100 F to 110 F.
7 keys to long life.
Allow marguerites to hydrate in a floral cooler at 33 F to 35 F for at
least two hours before designing with or selling them. Like most other
members of the Asteraceae family, marguerites are not affected by
exposure to moderate concentrations of ethylene.
8 freshen up.
Provide customers with extra flower-food packets, and advise them to
change the water in their arrangements every two or three days. Caution
customers to display arrangements away from heat sources and direct
sunlight. With good care, marguerites will last approximately seven to
9 garden style.
Marguerites are an affordable addition to garden-style arrangements and
hand-tied bouquets. Despite their delicate appearance, they are fairly
hardy as cut flowers.
10 medicinal values.
Marguerites have been cultivated for centuries. In the seventh century
B.C., Assyrian men used concoctions made from these flowers to cure eye
maladies. They also believed that a mixture of crushed marguerites and
oil would turn grey hair dark again. In the 13th century, these flowers
were used to treat wounds, fever and gout. Essences from marguerites
have been used as a homeopathic treatment for bruising.
Año Nuevo Flower Growers; Pescadero, Calif.
The California Cut Flower Commission,
Dave’s Garden, www.davesgarden.com
Fernlea Flowers Ltd., www.fernlea.com
English Cottage Gardening, American Style,
Missouri Botanical Garden, www.mobot.org
New Millennium Flower Essences,
Society of American Florists (SAF) Flower & Plant Care manual,
Steven W. Brown, AIFD, is a professor and
department chair of horticulture and floristry at City College of San
Francisco with 29 years of consulting and educational experience in the
floral industry. You may contact him by e-mail at
or by phone at (415) 239-3140.
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