Not only is the Crown Daisy a beautiful ornamental annual for your garden or walkways, but it’s are also edible. These cheerful white and yellow flowers have traveled quite a distance to make it to your yard. You may even see them under different names, such as Asian greens, shingiku, or tong hao.
If you’re unfamiliar with edible flowers, then you’re in for a treat (literally). Keep reading to see just how interesting Crown Daisies genuinely are — you may decide to make these part of your garden this year!
History of the Crown Daisy
The Crown Daisy was introduced to China during the Song Dynasty, around 960 AD. So it is safe to say these little daisies have been around for quite some time. So not much is known about who or when these were first discovered.
But what is known is when they became so popular in many Asian dishes that are still enjoyed today. The Crown Daisy, or the garland chrysanthemum, is used in various dishes and also for medicinal purposes.
The Crown Daisy pairs nicely with anything from soups, stews, stir-frys, and casseroles. Known as a green leafy vegetable, it is common to find the daisies’ stems and leaves in many dishes in Japan, Korea, India, and China.
Characteristics of the Crown Daisy
Both beautiful and tasty, the Crown Daisy is characterized by its cheery and bright yellow center with feathered white petals. Crown Daisies grow eight to twenty-four inches in height — the flower is ornamental, but the stalk and leaves are edible. The leafy greens are at their peak flavor once the plant has grown at least twelve inches tall.
The Crown Daisy’s leafy greens offer many health benefits and are a typical green used in different cuisines. Among being rich in antioxidant power, the stalks and leaves offer carotene, flavonoids, vitamins, chlorogenic acid, and potassium.
The Crown Daisy is also used for medicinal purposes in some places and is thought to have more benefits such as antioxidant protection, reduced risk of lung cancer, protection against kidney stones, cardiovascular problems, bloating, and bone loss.
Growing the Crown Daisy
Planting From Seeds
When planting the Crown Daisies from seeds, follow the USDA hardiness guidelines above and the following soil requirements.
Sew the seeds a quarter of an inch into the soil and space them two inches apart if planting in rows; space the rows at least eighteen inches apart.
Be sure to keep the seedlings moist and keep them in a warm and sunny location.
Once all of these above steps are complete, you should see your Crown Daisies sprouting and growing in as little as thirty days.
The Crown Daisy is easily grown in USDA hardiness zones 5-9, preferably in sandy, clay, loam, well-drained soil that is slightly acidic.
When planting the Crown Daisy, choose an area where it can receive at least 6 hours of sunlight a day.
Once the Crown Daisy has been established, these are great drought-tolerant annuals. If you are planting from seedlings, maintain moist soil until they mature. Once mature, you can water it once a week.
Maintenance of the Crown Daisy
Even though these daisies are easily grown, there are a few things you need to make sure of. Number one, these daisies do require some maintenance. You’ll need to thin out the plants, so they do not become overcrowded. If overcrowded, they can die or stop producing flowers.
Overcrowding is a problem because if you’re planting the daisies with other plants, they can grow over them and shade them from any sun and nutrients.
You’ll also want to ensure that the Crown Daisies do not escape their cultivation area. These daisies can become invasive and take over when not properly trimmed and cared for.
If you plant the Crown Daisies in the proper soil, you won’t have to worry too much about providing any extra fertilizer, but if you need a little extra, a well-balanced flower fertilizer does the trick.
Purchasing the Crown Daisy
Seeds and Plants
The Crown Daisy is a relatively common annual at your local flower depots or local nurseries. But if you are having trouble finding the plants, they are widely available as seeds. Many online retailers offer Crown Daisy seeds, so you can start growing them right away.
Leafy Greens for Consuming
When looking only to purchase these healthy and tasty leafy greens, you can find them at many Asian markets around the US. Be mindful that they have many different names, depending on the country or style of Asain market they may be sold under shingiku, tong hao, or garland chrysanthemum.
Ornamentals, Bouquets, and More
The Crown Daisy is one spectacular flower. There are so many ways to utilize this daisy, and here are just a few ideas for you.
Like all flowers, you typically choose them to decorate your home’s front, side, or back lawn. These daisies add the most beautiful pop of cheery yellow and go well with all other landscaping. They are easy to plant and care for, only needing minimal maintenance.
Daisy bouquets are one of the most popular floral arrangements in the world. They look beautiful in a vase and can stay in water for fourteen days. Everyone enjoys the beauty of the Crown Daisy, and it is an excellent gift for a friend, relative, or neighbor.
The Crown Daisies are a staple in Asain cuisine. Although these daisies may be labeled under different names, their leafy greens are popular in many recipes. If you are curious about these applications, here are a couple of recipes you could try:
Wrapping up the Crown Daisy
Who knew a daisy could be so much more than a simple flower? The Crown Daisy not only adds stunning color to your landscaping but is a healthy and delicious leafy green to add to your daily cooking regime. The Crown Daisy has been around for thousands of years, and it is no wonder why. With so many uses for one plant, nature amazes us once again.
To learn about other flowers (including more varieties of daisie), read our flower blog posts.