The Q&A Archives: Daisy Name

Question: I have a plant (looks like it's in the daisy family). It is the colour of an African Daisy (white petals, blue/purple centre) but the leaves are a distinctive spoon shape and the reverse of the petals is also a blue/purple. Do you have any idea what the name of this plant is. Is it an annual? Where should it be planted? How did I propogate?

Answer: The plant you describe is probably Felicia, a member of the Aster family, and native to South America. It's sometimes called 'Marguerite', but that name generally refers to the blue flowering variety. The white variety, Felicia elongata, is a multi-stemmed sub-shrub in warm winter gardening regions. In your area, it's probably going to be an annual. Give the plant full sunshine and average, well-draining soil. It thrives under arid conditions so water only when the top of the soil dries out. You can try to save seeds from the plant during late summer, for sowing in a garden bed next spring. Keep the faded flowers cut off during most of the summer to encourage lots of additional blooms, but save the last few flowers toward the end of the season for seed production. Collect the seeds when the seedhead is dry and place them in an airtight container, storing it in a cool, dark location. Next spring broadcast the seeds over the garden bed, cover them with a little additional soil, water often enough to keep the seedbed moist and the seeds should germinate in about two weeks.

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