How Many Pistils Does a Daisy Flower Have?

Have you ever thought about how many pistils a flower has? Interestingly, flowers tend to have multiple pistils, but it’s not easy for the untrained eye to spot them. Take the daisy, for example; how many pistils does a daisy flower have?

A daisy flower usually has between 50 and 80 pistils. The pistils in daisy flowers are located within the central disc florets. There are usually 50 to 80 disc florets, and consequently, pistils, in the flower. However, some larger daisy flowers might have up to 150 pistils.

In this article, I’ll talk about pistils, their significance, and the part they play in the reproduction of flowers. Keep reading to learn more.

The Number of Pistils in a Daisy Flower

As mentioned before, there are around 50 to 80 pistils in a daisy flower. But let’s understand how we arrived at this conclusion. For this purpose, we will need some fundamental understanding of what a daisy flower is made up of.

A daisy flower (along with similar flowers, such as sunflowers) is a composite flower. This means that what appears to be a single flower is actually made up of numerous smaller flowers. If you inspect a single daisy flower very closely, you will find this to be true.

The Components of a Daisy Flower

First, we have the visible outer petals, also known as ray florets. For Shasta daisies (the most common variety of the daisy flower), ray florets are typically white. There are generally 30 to 50 ray florets on a daisy flower, although there may occasionally be more or less than this range.

Next, we have the central disc. On the Shasta daisy, these are yellow, but here is the thing: this central yellow disc is not a single, standalone part of the flower. Within this central disc, you will see numerous tiny yellow flowers.

These tiny, bunched-up flowers are called disc flowers or disc florets. Within each disc floret, you’ll find one pistil. It’s harder to obtain an accurate number for these tiny, densely packed disc florets, but it averages out to about 50 to 80 for a standard-sized flower.

In the central discs of some larger daisy flowers, there may be as many as 150 disc florets.

Since there’s one pistil in one disc floret, and the central disc of a daisy flower consists of 50 to 80 disc florets on average, we can safely conclude that each daisy flower has 50 to 80 pistils on average.

That’s a lot of pistils!

Floral Biology: Understanding the Pistil

Pistils are the female reproductive organs of flowers. Collectively, they form the gynoecium—a collective term for the seed-bearing parts of a flower.

As seen in daisies, pistils are typically located in the central parts of flowers.

A pistil has several distinct components: 

  • The stigma
  • The stalk
  • The ovary

The Stigma

The stigma is the topmost part of the pistil. It’s intended to receive and germinate pollen grains. In daisies, the stigma is two-lobbed, meaning it has two heads to improve its chances of coming into contact with pollen grains.

The stigma has adaptations that improve its chances of contacting pollen in the air and having the pollen stick to itself. Its surface texture is leathery and waxy, promoting stickiness.

Successfully collected pollen grains begin germinating here.

The Stalk

The stalk is the tubular structure that runs down the length of the pistil, connecting the stigma and the ovary. Once collected and germinated by the stigma, pollen grains travel down the stalk. 

Ultimately, they will reach the ovary, where the fertilization process concludes.

The Ovary

The ovaries in daisies are single-seeded. Once pollen grain comes into contact with the ovary at the end of its journey down the stalk, it fertilizes the ovary. The fertilized ovary then begins producing a seed.

This concludes the pistil’s role in flower fertilization.

How Pollen Gets to the Pistil

Pollen grains are developed by the androecium, which is the counterpart to the gynoecium. Just like the gynoecium consists of all pistils present in a flower, the androecium consists of all the stamens.

Stamens are the male reproductive organs found within flowers. Their primary purpose is to create pollen. They produce pollen on their multiple anthers.

Just in case you’re wondering – yes, a single daisy flower has both male and female reproductive organs. Self-pollination is very common in the floral kingdom.

Flowers who only have male or female reproductive systems – one or the other – are in the overwhelming minority.

Once the pollen is produced on a stamen’s anthers, it remains there. Of course, the goal is for it to come into contact with the female stigma; however, plants cannot move and have no way of transporting the pollen on their own.

Daisies Primarily Rely on Biotic Pollination

The transportation of pollen grains from the anther of a stamen to the stigma of a pistil is known as pollination. It is carried out most commonly by insects and tiny birds (biotic pollination) and less frequently by wind and water (abiotic pollination).

Daisies rely on biotic pollination. It is for this reason that they have developed their bright, colorful flowers and release attractive scents into the air.

Along with pollen, daisy flowers also produce nectar, which they store in their central disc. Nectar is water loaded with sugars.

Nectar is nutritious and filled with energy, so insects are encouraged to approach the flower. Once they land on the flower’s central disc to feed on the nectar, they come into contact with pollen grains.

As the insect moves about, pollen is distributed all over the flower. Once it’s done feeding and takes off, it spreads the remaining pollen stuck to its legs to the next flower it lands on.

Why Daisies Have So Many Pistils

Daisies have 50 to 80 pistils on average! I don’t know about you, but when I first learned about this extraordinary statistic, I was pretty surprised.

Why do they need to have so many pistils? Aren’t a few of them enough? Well, nature disagrees.

Having so many pistils benefits daisies because it improves their reproduction rate. Since each pistil has a single ovary, which bears one seed, having more pistils means the flower has the potential to deliver more seeds if successfully fertilized.

Additionally, pollination is a very variable factor since it relies upon external factors such as pollinators and wind, which are entirely out of the daisy’s control.

Each pistil has one stigma. Having more stigmas on the surface of the central disc makes it more likely that they’ll be able to come into contact with pollen grains, whether they be on an insect’s limbs or airborne.

Having 50 to 80 densely packed pistils ensures that at least some of them will end up pollinated, have their ovaries fertilized, and go on to bear seeds.

Daisies Reproduce Efficiently

Speaking of the reproduction of daisies, did you know that daisies are one of the fastest-spreading plants on earth? Daisies single-handedly make up over 10% of the world’s total population of flowering plants.

This can be credited to the numerous seeds each daisy flower produces every season. The produced seeds germinate relatively quickly, with new daisy flowers often blooming by their second year of growth.

Combine that with the fact that daisies are one of the hardiest flowers on earth, and you get a plant that’s considered a weed in many parts of the world!

While it may sound silly at first, daisies can infest unchecked patches of land so fast that they’re often considered weeds. Regular deadheading and an annual pruning are required to prevent them from spreading uncontrollably.

To learn more, check out this article: Should You Always Cut Back Your Daisies in the Fall?

Final Thoughts

A daisy flower has 50 to 80 pistils on average. Daisies are composite flowers, meaning they’re made up of a bunch of tiny flowers. Indeed, if you examine their central disc, you’ll see numerous small flower heads. These tiny flowers are called disc flowers or disc florets.

Within each disc floret lies a pistil. Each pistil is composed of a stigma, a stalk, and an ovary. Once the stigma contacts a grain of pollen, it sends it down the shaft and into the ovary. The fertilized ovary then starts producing a seed.

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the founder of and its lead content writer. He created the website in 2022 as a resource for horticulture lovers and beginners alike, compiling all the gardening tips he discovered over the years. Alex has a passion for caring for plants, turning backyards into feel-good places, and sharing his knowledge with the rest of the world.

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