That beautiful white and yellow flower you saw on the rubbish heap was not an apparition. That flower is called a margarita. The margarita flower is the name given to the leucanthemum species of the Chrysantheumum genus, which is a member of the Asteraceae family. This flower originated in Europe and Asia. A more common name is oxeye daisy.
The species is also known as Leucanthemum vulgare. In this case, Leucanthemum serves as the genus of the species. There are three other members in the Leucanthemum genus: paludosum, maximum and coronarium. Every member is considered to be a daisy.
A margarita reaches an average height of 30 to 75 cm (1 to 2.5 feet). The majority of this height is taken by the stem, a green to dark-green, glossy, fibrous stalk, which is angled along the body. Leaves are a non-glossy green, up to 15 cm (6 inches) long and 2.5 cm (1 inch) wide, and are serrated into rounded points. The telling characteristic is the flower body, which is centred by a bright yellow, circular, section, which holds 2.5 to 5 cm (1 to 2 inch) wide white petals. The margarita's flower body is similar in colour and shape to the paludosum and maximum. But the coronarium has a distinct feature: a ring of yellow around the base of the petals.
Habitat and climate
The margarita is often found on roadsides, sites that have been recently excavated, agricultural fields, garbage dumps and mountainsides and hillsides. A predominant feature of any site is dry, loose soil, which promotes water drainage. The preferred pH range for the soil is between 5.5 and 6.5. Partial shade is necessary except during the blooming period when full sun is required.
The flower and leaves, when made into a tea, are said to help alleviate the symptoms of bronchitis and stomach ulcers. It might also help prevent digestive problems and has been used as a vaginal douche.
The margarita is considered a weed, and its mass seed dispersal thwarts attempts at removal.
The margarita flowers in the spring and summer. Sheep, goats and horses, but not cows or pigs, will feed on margarita. The grazing and trampling of animals will cause seed dispersal and an expansion of the population.
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