T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Osteospermum fruticosum (Trailing African Daisy)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Calenduleae
Genus: Osteospermum
Species: Osteospermum fruticosum
Common names: Trailing African Daisy, Shrubby Daisy bush. Dimorphotheca, Shrubby Daisy, Freeway Daisy, Blue Eyed Daisy

Osteospermum is a toxic plant genus and ingested causes cyanide poisoning because it contains hydrocyanic acid. It is poisonous to cattle.

Osteospermum fruticosum is a shrubby, semi-succulent perennial herbaceous flowering plant native to South Africa. It is grown in gardens from which it has escaped and now is widely naturalised in New Zealand, mainly in the North Island.
It has straggling stems which becoming woody near the base, and often forming dense mats as the stems root along the ground and is able to cover up to or more than 15 square metres.
It has fleshy leaves which are alternate, hairy, elongate (up to 10 cm long), and with toothed margins.
Flowering occurs Aug.–Jan and the daisy-like flower heads (4-7 cm across) are solitary. The rays are white on the upper surface but bluish purple colour below. The flowers small centre disc is blueish purple and is a distinctive feature of this plant. It produces main small hairless (6-7 mm long) seeds. It reproduces by seed or vegetatively.
Osteospermum fruticosum is now classified as a weed in New Zealand. As an escapee plant its inhabits coastal areas, banks, clay, cliffs, wasteland.

The name 'Osteospermum' is exclusively used for the perennial forms while ‘Dimorphotheca’ is used for the annuals. Though there are aspects they are very different they both have in common that the flowers close at night.

Plant growing wild Port Taranaki.

The photo below was taken of Osteospermum fruticosum creeping across beach sand on the east coast of the Coromandel.



Purple form.




The upper surface of a leaf.

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/