Robert Jameson discovered gerbera daisies in 1884 around Barberton, South Africa. The flower was eventually bred to create even larger and brighter blooms, and today it has become one of the most popular cut flowers in the world.
The daisy was said to spring from the tears of Mary Magdalene. It was known as ‘God’s smile’ and ‘Day’s eye’ , an Angle Saxon name which had morphed to the current word daisy. This is because the flower opened and closed with the sun’s rays. In magic, it would be used in any fair weather spells or rites to honour the Sun. The daisy was associated with Venus, commonly used as a lovers’ divination, plucking the petals whilst chanting s/he loves me, s/he loves me not. Medieval knights wore daisy chains made for them by their ladies when they rode into battle or tournaments, as a sign of their affection and defence of their lady’s honour.
Daisies traditionally symbolize innocence, purity, friendship, and classic beauty but gerbera daisies, because of their bright coloring, have also come to be symbolic of cheerfulness.
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