Real World Gardener NEW African Daisies in Plant of the Week

April 3rd, 2020

PLANT OF THE WEEK

African Daisy: Osteospermum sp

The daisy plant family (Asteraceae) is one of the biggest in the world. 
In fact it includes 32,000 species and 1,900 genera and 13 sub-families. 
The seeds of the osteospermums are quite hard. 

All are classified as sub-shrubs with green leaves and 90% of Osteospermums that you see for sale are from the same species.
Botanical Bite:
The daisy flower contains outer sterile ray florets (what look like petals) and the inner part of the daisy, or the 'eye' contains hundreds of tube like flowers and are referred to as disc florets.

Osteospermum%2Bpink%2Bwith%2Bblue%2Beye.
Osteospermum sp.
We all know what daisy flowers look like, but what are modern day breeders doing with the colours and shapes? 

 

Is the centre of Osteospermums always a blue eye?
So let’s find out . 
I'm talking with Jeremy Critchley, horticulturist and owner of the Green Gallery nursery. 
PLAY: Osteospermum family_25th March 2020 
  • What about those daisies that have no centre?

With the fully double flowers, the disc florets that contain the sexual organs, have been genetically replaced  with petals making the flower fully double. These varieties cannot close at night, unlike the singles. 

  • Most Osteospermum's have a blue 'eye.' Any other colour?
There are two cultivars that Jeremy grows with different coloured centres:
Voltage Yellow has a yellow centre.

Osteo%2B3D%2Bvoltage%2BYellow.jpg
Osteospermum 3
White Lightning, creamy white with a cream white centre.
 
The doubles cannot close at night because of the amount of petals in the centre.
There's a range called the 3D's which include yellows, reds, oranges and many shades of pink.

3D's have names like Violet  Berry, Banana Shake-usually with two tone colours.Jeremy mentioned that he used to grow 80 different colours of African daisies. Can you think of 80 different colours? 

  • Jeremy'sTop Tip:
Osteo's love food, or fertiliser. The more food, the more flowers.
  • Can you think of 80 different colours?Nope? 

osteospermum-daisy-flower-white-purple-g

Well, Jeremy now only grows 30 different colours and I bet you would be hard pressed to think of more than 7. 
  • Funnily enough the classic white petals with blue centres are still the best sellers.

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