African daisy - Dimorphotheca


Dimorphotheca is a very vigorous annual herbaceous plant, which produces small dense and compact tufts, which from May until autumn are constantly covered with flowers; it belongs to the asteraceae family, the dimorphotheca flowers are flower heads, that is, they are made, like the daisies, by a bunch of central flowers without petals, surrounded by flowers that carry a single petal to form a crown. The flowers of African daisy they are of various colors, also because many hybrids and cultivars have been produced over the years, so we can see white color spaces with a blue center, the typical color, but also yellow, orange, salmon, purple rose; all the colors show the central disc of contrasting color, very showy.

As we said before, the species of Dimorphoteca produce numerous fertile seeds, from which we can obtain seedlings for the following year. In autumn we collect withered flowers and remove small seeds from them, which we will store in a cool, dry place. Towards the end of winter we plant the dimorpholes in a cold greenhouse, or in a seed box, so that the seeds are not exposed to temperatures below -5 ° C; the young seedlings have a very delicate root system, for this reason it is good to sow directly in individual pots, so as to be able to repot the entire loaf of earth that is around the roots, without handling it too much. Let's grow the young dimorpholes in a luminous and frost-free place until late spring, so let's place them in a shelter, being careful not to handle the roots too much; Since most of the commercially available dimorphols are hybrids, it is unlikely that we will obtain plants that produce flowers identical to those of the plant from which we obtained the seeds, let us not be surprised if we obtain plants with flowers of two or three different colors.African daisy - Dimorphotheca: Blue daisy

In the colorful world of daisies it is often easy to run into some small recognition errors. One of the errors that most often happen to gardening enthusiasts concerns the so-called blue daisy. This plant in fact despite being an agathea is often called by the name of margherita and confused with the dimorphoteche.
If we look carefully at the appearance of these beautiful flowers, it is impossible not to notice the details that differentiate the Felicia amelloides (the scientific name of the Agatea) from the Dimorphpoteca, despite the general characteristics being those common to the Asteraceae or Composite family.
The petals are first different both in number and in size and arrangement on the flower. In addition to this, the stems and leaves are slightly different, both in appearance and conformation, with the leaves of the Agatea covered by a thick down and the stems of less density than those of the Dimorphoteca.