Spanish Marguerite – Osteospermum

Osteospermum is known in English as Spanish Marguerite, but it is actually more accurate to call it the African Daisy or Cape Daisy.

Osteospermum is the name of a plant genus found growing wild in southern Africa where temperatures do not tend to drop much below zero in winter. There are approximately 45 different varieties growing wild.

Osteospermum belongs to the Compositae (aster) family, known for the many small flowers growing in a “basket” on a combined axis. The “basket” has an outer circle of small ray florets with tongue-shaped petals that make up the colourful rays of the inflorescence. Deep inside the “basket” are the disc florets. Combined, they form the yellow, orange or deep violet eye of the inflorescence.

The O. ecklonis species was the starting point for the first cultivated varieties used as bedding plants.

In the 1980s, only two varieties of Osteospermum were on sale in Denmark: one with white flowers and one with pink flowers. Today, there is a choice of more than 100 different varieties and a wide selection of colours and shapes.