Crown daisy

Glebionis coronaria (L.) Cass. ex Spach

The crown daisy is an annual plant from the Asteraceae family , 10-100 cm tall, with divided leaves and a yellow flower head. Flowers appear between February and May. Each flowering head is composed of many tiny florets of two types: asymmetrical ray florets along the head's circumference, and symmetrical disk florets in the center of the head. The ray and disk florets develop into different types of seeds. These seeds do not have parachutes (as in dandelion) and just fall to the ground. The crown daisy is native to the Mediterranean Basin, and is also cultivated and often naturalized in East Asia and North America. It is very common throughout Palestine, and often forms captivating, dense yellow carpets. It flourishes in nitrogen-rich soils, and is especially common in disturbed habitats, waste areas, abandoned dwellings, pastures, crop fields and road sides. In large populations of daisies, one can often spot a few heads colored white (instead of yellow) at their periphery. The flower heads are visited by a wide array of pollinating insects, including bees, beetles, flies and butterflies. The plant's greens are edible and rich in vitamins and minerals, and are a good addition to a salad, especially when young. They are used in many cuisines, especially in the Far East, including China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. They also contain various substances with insecticidal, fungicidal and antioxidant properties.

Site: Beitillu nature reserve