Blue Eyed African Daisy
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Blue Eyed African Daisy
ntroduced Herb Photo: Tabish
Common name: Blue Eyed African Daisy, African Daisy
Botanical name: Arctotis venusta     Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)

A fast-growing summer annual, Blue Eyed African Daisy has a number of upright, branching stems and a strong taproot. Lush plants can easily grow up to 500 mm high, forming soft, round bushes. The light green, leathery leaves are covered with short white hairs that give the plant a grey appearance. The size and the shape of the leaves differ, varying on the same plant from fat and oval to long and narrow, with leave margins that are finely toothed or deeply scalloped. The large white flowers that form just above the foliage are very attractive. Close up, the single daisy flowerheads look quite delicate with their unusual mauve centres surrounded by a single row of shiny white petals. A bright yellow ring at the base and a light mauve wash to the back of the petals add further interest. The flowers remain open in even in very low light and when picked they last for a number of days in a vase. The seeds ripen within 2–3 months of flowering. Masses of seeds are produced that fall off and blow away as the old flowerheads dry with the ripe seeds. Plants only live for a few months, from early summer to autumn. Blue Eyed African Daisy grows mainly in the drier summer rainfall areas of South Africa.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Sundar Nursery, Delhi.

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