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Osteospermum fruticosum
Osteospermum fruticosum

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Zones 8, 9, 12-28, H1, H2
Full Sun
Regular Water

Osteospermum fruticosum

Trailing African Daisy, Freeway Daisy
Asteraceae (Compositae)
Annuals, Evergreen, Ground covers, Perennials


Woody-based perennials native to South Africa; closely related to Dimorphotheca and often sold as such. Mounded or trailing in habit, bearing a profusion of daisylike flowers over a long season; blossoms are more profuse during cooler parts of bloom period. Grow them as summer annuals in areas beyond the hardiness range, as winter annuals in hot desert regions. Narrowish oval leaves are 2–4 in. long, smooth-edged or with a few large teeth. Flowers of most kinds open only in sunlight, but many have a second color on the backs of rays that shows on half-open flowers during overcast weather.

These tolerate drought and neglect but they look better with good garden soil and irrigation. Tip-pinch young plants to induce bushiness. Deadheading produces more blooms. Cut back old, sprawling branches to the young side growth any time from late summer to midautumn. Mass along driveways or paths or use in borders, rock gardens, or containers. Types that spread by rooting stems are good on slopes.

Osteospermum fruticosum

Grows to 6–12 in. tall, spreading rapidly by trailing, rooting stems; will cover a 2–4-ft.-wide circle in a year. Deep lilac buds open to 2-in.-wide flowers with a dark purple center; rays are lilac above (fading nearly to white by the second day), deeper lilac beneath. Blooms intermittently all year, more heavily in fall and winter.

Needs well-drained soil. Does well near the ocean. Use as a groundcover or bank cover; if it gets too tall or weedy, mow or cut back in midsummer. Also good planted at top of a wall or in a hanging basket.

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