Colour rush


The symbol of innocent love, Ursinia – commonly known as the African Daisy – provides fiery colour to gardens big and small. They’re best planted en masse in full sun for a knock-out display, or as groups or clumps in a rockery or herbaceous border. Mix with other spring-flowering annuals such as Namaqualand daisy, blue flax, or wild cineraria.

One of the easiest plants to grow, Ursinia calenduliflora is propagated by seed. Sow the seeds in situ in well-drained sandy soil and cover lightly with the sowing medium or clean sand. Water gently with a fine spray and keep moist. Seeds germinate within 3 – 7 days.

Bees absolutely love the African Daisy. And interestingly, these flowers use a physics trick to attract them. It turns out that bees dig the colour blue. And because it’s hard for plants to produce blue in their petals, they create ethereal blue light halos – invisible to humans, but visible to bees. That means the plants are using disorder to generate a specific colour – very interesting in evolutionary terms.

This beautiful spring-flowering annual has large, orange-yellow daisy flowers, with dark rings around their centres and delicate, lacy foliage. It grows 350 mm high. Flowers are produced any time from July to September – depending on the weather and good, early rains.