Daisy as a Weather Barometer and Clock

Bright, open summer Daisies (Bellis perennis). © Karen Andrews

Daisies can act as weather barometers and clocks. These are intriguing observations in Peter Wohlleben’s The Weather Detective: Rediscovering Nature’s Secret Signs (2018), best selling author of the Hidden Life of Trees.

An immediate review of all Daisies in personal photo collection followed.

A Daisy feeling under the Weather in Winter

Lonely, bedraggled Daisy in winter 2017. © Karen Andrews

Daisy feeling a bit brighter in February Sunshine

Daisy (Bellis perennis) in February sunshine, but not fully open. Hedging its bets on weather?
© Karen Andrews

Daisy in the Pink

Daisy standing tall in good weather. © Karen Andrews

Daisies in Rain of 15 December 2018

It’s a Blur

Mass of Daisies in the lawn at Kew Gardens on an apparently overcast day
© Karen Andrews

While there are lots of daisy pictures in the collection, they were not taken scientifically with notes on the weather until 15 December 2018. The notes do not reveal weather forecasting. (Note to self for future botanical recording). Contrasting Daisy behaviour in different weather conditions and at different times of the year is interesting. It would be great to see a BBC Natural History programme showing the changes with time lapse recording.

Book Review

Back to the book review… This blog is based on just a couple of plant-related pages of a fascinating read from cover to cover in one day. The book is translated from Peter Wohlleben’s original 2012 German by Ruth Admedzai Kemp with Jessica West.

Daisy as Weather Prophet

Wohlleben describes how you can decide whether to put the washing out or not by looking at daisies in your garden (page 8). The petals close up if rain is on the way. Some droop (as above) to avoid letting rain in. Cultivated flowers appear to have lost this ability.

Daisy as a Clock

You can also set your clock by daisies. They open up their nectar and pollen shop by day and close by night. Daisies open up at 9am. The great Linnaeus had a King Canute-type experience in trying to create a flower clock at the Uppsala Botanical Garden. He based it on the different opening and closing times of flowers. His attempt at bringing order to Nature did not work out in this case. 

Whetting Appetite for Deeper Knowledge

Ultimately, the book leaves you wanting to know more. It covers a lot of ground. There seems to be far more to explain and explore on the cleverness of plants. A book that whets your appetite for more information on Nature is a welcome read. Some of his words on feeding birds and bird boxes were surprising and require further reflection (pages 52-3).

Observing Nature

Ultimately, the author wants us to reclaim our sensitivity to nature and reawaken our powers of observation (page 161). He succeeded in sending this botanist out in the rain to look at daisies more closely.

Copyright Note

Karen does not seek or receive any commercial interest or advantage from this blog. She is not promoting any business venture. She simply loves to share fascinating facts about plants. These pages illustrate her love of plants, botany, biodiversity, gardens and creative expression. There is always so much to learn about plant diversity. This blog is designed as a showcase for photography, commentary on plants and wildlife, gardens and other places visited, horticulture and related topics. Viewpoints are her own, not those of her employer.

© Karen Andrews 2018 onwards. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Karen Andrews and BotanyKaren.net with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. 

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