African Daisy

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African Daisies look a lot like common daisies, with petals radiating around a center disk. They are even members of the Asteraceae family, along with shasta daisies and zinnias. But their vivid coloring is not at all like the classic daisy. In fact, when African Daisies were first introduced to the market, some people thought they must have been dyed. The center disks of the flowers even can look like they're colored with metallic paint. Petals can be smooth and flat like a typical daisy, or they can radiate out in a tubular spoon shape.

The leaves vary by variety; they can be lance-like or broadly ovate and smooth, toothed, or lobed.

These flowers are best planted in the spring after the threat of frost has passed, and they have a fairly quick growth rate, blooming about two months after sprouting from seeds. Reliably hardy in zones 10 to 11, these tender perennials are planted as annuals in other climate zones. While there are more than 70 species in the genus, most African Daisies sold in the trade are cultivars and hybrids derived from O. Ecklonis, O. Jucundum, and a few other species.