I love Osteospermums (aka: Cape daisy or African daisy); these plants will bring you plenty of bang for your buck in coastal Mediterranean climates like the San Francisco Bay area, largely in locations where summers are cool.
If you live inland where summer gets hot make sure to choose Osteospermums bred for heat tolerance. If you don’t, the result will be sulking plants with few to no flowers.:(
On the coast, these daisy-like flowers bloom in abundance. Plant breeders have taken this plant and indulged in a wonderful variety of colors – from traditional purple and white to attractive bronze, yellow, pink, pumpkin, red…And there are always new varieties on the horizon. (See photos)
USDA 9 – 11.
This Aster family plant is native to South Africa and the Arabian peninsula. With over 70 species, most of what you see in the gardens is derived from only a few species, like, Ecklonis, briefly discussed below. These daisy-like plants are perennials in moderate climates thriving with cool summer temperatures. In a mostly frost free area, like San Francisco, Osteospermums are perennials. You can plant them for summer color in colder climates just treat them as an annual. I would say that I do prefer these in coastal areas over inland. I think the performance is much better, regardless of annual or perennial or choosing a heat tolerant variety like Bright Lights. But, it’s always good to try if you’re tempted – but unsure how this plant will do in your area, just sample it first, test one. In cool summer climates Osteospermums are easy! With no deadheading necessary, these low maintenance flower mamas add a striking shot of color spring through fall on compact, mounding plants. Bloom time: Spring – fall. Exposure: Sun/part shade. Uses: Trailers, hanging basket, containers, window boxes, border, ground cover. Flowers: open in full sun. Close at night. Water: moderate to dry. Soil: lean, not too fertile/rich, or Osteos get leggy with little flowering. Note: Osteospermums attracts butterflies & are deer resistant.
1. Osteospermum ecklonis White
2. Osteospermum ecklonis ‘Astra Purple Spoon’
3. Osteospermum ‘Margarita White Spoon’
The Margarita series is known for it’s natural branching habit, uniformity and nice flower shape. Size Margarita: 10-14″ tall x 10″ wide.
4. Osteospermum ‘Serenity Peach Magic’
5. Osteospermum ecklonis ‘Ostica Purple’
6. Osteospermum ecklonis ‘Ostica Magma’
7. Osteospermums make great trailing & hanging basket plants!
8. Osteospermum ‘Bright Lights Red’
Hope you enjoyed this post!
As mentioned, breeders are constantly developing new Osteospermum varieties, focusing on bloom color, flower shape (eg: white/purple spoon flowers ,above) and heat tolerance. The species Ecklonis gets a lot of use and attention from plant breeders. Here are several popular series of Ecklonis:
- Bright Lights