Euryops chrysanthemoides: Bush daisy

Family: Asteraceae
Common name: Bush daisy, Daisy-bush, African bush daisy, Bull’s eye, Golden daisy bush, Resin bush

Bush daisy plants flower abundantly throughout the year, making them ideal garden plants for tropical countries. They can grow to a height of 2 meters, with a diameter of 1-2 meters. Bush daisy leaves are 5-12 cms long, and pinnate with much-dissected, lacy leaves.

The stem is woody towards the base and green towards the tips, where leaves are bunched together like rosettes. Flowers are bright yellow with 10-25 ray florets and numerous yellow disk florets at the center. Bush daisy flowers are 3-4 cms in diameter and held aloft on stalks that are 10-15 cms long.

Hence the flowers are held like beautiful bouquets above the level of the foliage. Once the flowers mature, the ray florets turn white and fall away, while the disk in the center enlarges.

In warm, tropical weather and bright sunlight, these plants are capable of blooming almost throughout the year. After they are pollinated by bees and butterflies, these flowers produce small cylindrical black seeds that are clustered together.

The word Euryops denotes the large flowers, and the word Chrysanthemoides means resembling chrysanthemums. These plants are also called resin bushes since blobs of resin are sometimes exuded from the stem, like drops of gum. This gum has some medicinal as well as industrial uses.

Bush daisy plants are very sturdy, non-fussy plants that can grow in poor soil and fluctuating weather conditions. They need regular watering to prevent drying up of leaves and flowers. The lower parts of the plant are usually bare with brown leaves, and that is normal.

These plants are native to Africa, but they now grace home gardens and parks across the world as ornamental plants. Though Bush daisies are considered invasive in some countries, they can be easily controlled by hand plucking. These plants look lovely when grown in large numbers, filling the area with beautiful yellow flowers.

The flowers do not close at night and hence attract nocturnal insects as well. The flowers can be used in cut flower arrangements since they can stay alive for a few days in room temperature.

Propagation is through seeds or stem cuttings.