Swamp daisy


Swamp daisy

Osmitopsis asteriscoides

Scientific name

This attractive and fast growing white daisy flowers during spring and early summer in dense groups, and is found in many of the wetland areas of the Western Cape. It is an erect herbaceous perennial which can grow to 2 m. It is sparsely branched at the base while the upper stems are well branched. The lower parts of the stems are leafless, showing the cracked grayish bark. The aromatic leaves are densely arranged towards the branch ends. The typical daisy flower heads are grouped on the short upper branches. Each flower head is about 35 mm across, the outer ray florets are white while the central disc florets are yellow. The leaves are lance shaped and may be smooth or velvety, 10 - 18 mm wide and 60 - 80 mm long and have a distinctive camphor-like smell.

Propagation instructions

By seed

Collect seed by harvesting the flowers with a small length of stem and leaves when the ray florets (petals) start to turn brown. Spread them out on a cardboard tray and allow to dry completely. Rub the flowerheads and winnow out the fruits. In March or April sow these smoke-treated fruits containing the seed in trays of a finely sieved mix by volume of 10 parts sand, 4 parts loam soil and 8 parts well rotted pine bark. Germination takes place in about 6 weeks. When large enough pot into bags containing a mix by volume of 10 parts river sand, 6 parts loam soil and 15 parts well rotted compost. Seed trays and bags should remain constantly moist to reproduce the wet nature of the plant's natural habitat.

By cutting

Cuttings are done from new growth after flowering. Dip in a rooting hormone for soft cuttings and place in trays containing a mixture by volume of 1 part polystyrene beads to 1 part sieved well rotted pine bark. Rooting takes place within 4 - 6 weeks. Keep constantly moist. Pot up as for seedlings.

References and further reading

PlantZAfrica profile »

Image credit: © Richard Adcock

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Important characteristics

Conservation status: Least Concern

This species was selected because it has various important characteristics.

It provides medicinal value

Suitable for wet sites

It provides food for:

Honeybees/flies

Monkey beetle

Osmitopsis asteriscoides is indigenous to: Peninsula Sandstone Fynbos

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