Ox-eye Daisy, Rain Daisy, Cape Daisy Dimorphotheca pluvialis
Order Asterales. Family: Asteraceae
West Coast National Park
Richtersveld National ParkDescription Dimorphotheca pluvialis
is a herbaceous annual. Dimorphotheca pluvialis
"Flat White" has pure white flowers, with its petals backed with mauve, and a yellow centre. The plant grows about 15 cm high.Dimorphotheca pluvialis
"Purple Centre" also has white flowers but with a deep violet ring around the yellow centre. It grows to about 40 cm in height.Dimorphotheca pluvialis
forms a bushy plant that is covered with large white daisies all flowering at the same level. The flowering season is from July to October, depending on the rain. The narrow leaves are light green, about 7 cm long and have indented edges. They are numerous at the base of the stems, becoming fewer and smaller near the top.
During spring huge fields are covered with this bright white daisy, forming a dazzling mass. Flowers are pollinated by small horseflies that get covered with pollen as they fly from one daisy to the next in search of tiny amounts of nectar.
These annuals are adapted to germinate, grow, flower and set seed during the rainy winter and to survive the long dry summer as seed. The seeds are interesting in that two different forms are produced. The ones we usually sow are flat, papery and fly away easily in the wind. They are formed in the center of the flower by the disk florets. The outer ray florets form seeds which looks like little thorns with a thick coats. Under favorable conditions the papery seed of the disk florets germinate in abundance, while the seeds of the ray florets have delayed germination to protect the species against unpredictable conditions in their arid environment.Distribution Dimorphotheca pluvialis
is an annual endemic to Namibia, Namaqualand and the south western Cape.Habitat
Sandy soils on lowland. Renosterveld, strandveld, fynbos.
Links: Braam Van Wyk: A Photographic Guide to Wild Flowers of South Africa