Marguerites Maisons-Laffitte 04 © French Moments
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Last Updated: 21 August 2023


This morning, we went on a nice family walk in our neighbourhood. The Park of Maisons-Laffitte is a great place to stroll on a Sunday morning as most people are still in bed or eating croissants at breakfast for a long, long time. On the Place Wagram, the elegant fountain is surrounded by beautiful oxeye daisies. I took a few photos and thought about writing a post about what we call an oxeye daisy in French. Here is the answer as well as a few more information, such as the game of picking the daisy petals off…


How do we call oxeye daisy in French?

MARGUERITE is the name!

The Latin word for the grassland flower is Leucanthemum vulgare, which derives from the Ancient Greek meaning ‘white flower’.

A native plant to Europe, the oxeye daisy was later introduced to North America, Australia and New Zealand.

Marguerites Maisons-Laffitte 02 © French Moments

The symbolic meaning of the oxeye daisy is Patience. It blooms for the whole summer, from late spring to autumn.


The loves-me daisy petal game

Oxeye daisies should not be confused with common daisies or Bellis perennis (in French: pâquerettes).

Both flowers are used in the game of plucking the daisy petals. As a person is picking one petal off a daisy, he/she speaks the phrase:

He/she loves me. He/she loves me not.

Marguerites Maisons-Laffitte 05 © French Moments

In French the game is called ’effeuiller la marguerite’ and says:

“elle (il) m’aime, un peu, beaucoup, passionnément, à la folie… pas du tout”

(he/she loves me a little, a lot, passionately, madly… not at all)

On picking off the last petal, the phrase spoken is supposed to represent the truth between the object of their affection loving him/her… or not!

La Simplicité, huile sur toile par Jean-Baptiste Greuze, 1759, Kimbell Art Museum
La Simplicité, oil painting by Jean-Baptiste Greuze, 1759, Kimbell Art Museum

oxeye daisy in French: Marguerites in Maisons-Laffitte © French Moments

oxeye daisy in French: Marguerites in Maisons-Laffitte © French Moments


Pâquerettes vs. Marguerites

Let’s dive into it with a touch of French flair! Picture this: pâquerettes (daisies) and marguerites (oxeye daisies), like two flower cousins, each with their distinct style. They’re like garden celebrities, each rocking their unique look! 🌼🌼

Paquerettes Maisons-Laffite © French Moments
Paquerettes Maisons-Laffite © French Moments


The Family Resemblance

First, imagine charming blooms with petals encircling a sunny yellow centre. Both daisies and oxeye daisies sport that classic, oh-so-spring vibe. They love showing up when the sun is out to play. ☀️


Delightful Distinctions

Now, take a closer peek. Daisies, the sophisticated stars, usually have longer petals and are generally more substantial. They bring an air of elegance to any garden scene. 🌼

On the other hand, oxeye daisies are a tad more unpretentious. Their petals are often shorter, and they’re smaller overall. But don’t let their size fool you because their simple charm is heartwarming. 💕

Daisies might be more particular, thriving with extra sunshine to shine. Oxeye daisies, conversely, are true adventurers and can make do with a bit less sun. They’re at home anywhere, from roadside spots to the heart of a meadow.

In a nutshell, daisies embrace elegance and grandeur, while oxeye daisies favour simplicity and versatility. It’s like they’ve got their floral runway styles! So whether you lean toward sophistication or have a soft spot for simplicity, you have the perfect choice for your garden. 🌸🌼 Enjoy these little floral wonders to the fullest!

oxeye daisy in French: Marguerites © French Moments
Marguerites © French Moments


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About the author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. He has a background teaching French, Economics and Current Affairs, and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations, and a degree of Economics and Management. Pierre is the author of Discovery Courses and books about France.

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