Osteospermum (group)

Common Name: African daisy 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Zone: 10 to 11
Height: 1.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to July
Bloom Description: White-pink and yellow shades
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-11. In St. Louis, plants are grown as annuals in average, loose, moderately fertile, evenly moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Plants generally dislike hot and humid summers. Purchase new plants in spring or plant seed cultivars indoors about 6-8 weeks prior to last spring frost date. Deadhead spent flowers to prolong bloom.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Osteospermum is a genus of about 70 species of subshrubs, herbaceous perennials and annuals. They are native to southern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Many of the plants sold today under the names African daisy or osteospermum are cultivars and hybrids derived from O. ecklonis, O. jucundum and several other species. As a group, these plants are frost-tender subshrubs or herbaceous perennials that feature daisy-like flowers on upright stems rising to 1-3’ tall. Stems are clad with lanceolate green leaves having entire, lobed or toothed margins. Each flower features a center disk of tiny tubular flowers surrounded by fertile, petal-like ray flowers in a variety of colors including shades of white, pink and yellow. In cool summer climates, flowers bloom freely from spring to fall frost. In hot summer climates, flowers bloom well in spring to early summer, but decline rapidly with the onset of consistently hot summer temperatures. Fruits are seed-like achenes.

The genus name Osteospermum comes from the Greek osteo meaning "bone" and sperma meaning "seed" in reference to the hard seeds.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for aphids. Mildew and verticillium wilt may occur.

Garden Uses

Beds and borders. Containers.