There seems to be some confusion about the annual and perennial forms. Although Osteospermums were formerly called 'Dimorphotheca' one has to remember that this name is now only used for the annual forms. These annuals are also known as 'Star of the Veldt' and are very different to the plants we now know as 'Osteospermum'.
D. aurantiaca

The name 'Osteospermum' is exclusively used for the perennial forms. Both have in common that the flowers close at night. But the annuals or 'Dimorphotheca' are in many aspects very different to 'Osteospermums'. The garden varieties are hybrids of D. aurantiaca. Their colour range is quite different: orange, cream, white, yellow and salmon-pink. Like all other annuals 'Dimorphotheca' can be grown from seed. The flowering period isn't as long and frequent as that of Osteospermums and the plant isn't as long lived. The plants aren't suitable to propagate by cuttings. They are hardy annuals, so seeds can be sown in autumn as well as in spring. They dislike root disturbance, so it's advisable to sow seeds where they are to flower. The plants need a well-drained sandy soil. Place them in full sun or the flowers will refuse to open. Dead-head regularly to prolong flowering.

The Symphony series are interspecific Dimorphotheca hybrids: Lemon Symphony, Cream Symphony, Peach Symphony, Orange Symphony, Banana Symphony, Milk Symphony and Melon Symphony. The colour range of the Symphony series is restricted to the colours of the Dimorphotheca species. The Symphonies can't be grown from seed because they are practically sterile. This is why they are such profuse flowerers. Unfortunately, just like the other Dimorphotheca hybrids they tend to suffer from mildew and rot. They usually don't have a high survival rate.

The orange varieties called Florence are also interspecific Dimorphotheca hybrids, but from another species called Dimorphotheca tragus.

WARNING: At present some of the reputable seed companies are incorrectly selling 'Dimorhotheca' under the name 'Osteospermum'. You will have to draw your own conclusions as to why they are doing this!! One company is even selling 'Livingstone Daisies' ('Mesembryanthemum') under the name of 'Osteospermum'. We recommend to first check if you are really buying 'Osteospermums' before ordering seed. To help you decide what you are buying see our Lists of Osteospermum and Dimorphotheca Seed

For a large picture of Dimorphotheca aurantiaca click here.

To enter the Dimorphotheca photo album click here.