Dad had planted it just outside the gate amongst some arachis pintoi and we noticed that each time it bloomed, someone would pick the daisy.
One day dad saw an old lady walk up the driveway to pick it but didn’t stop her. Why? I guess it’s because she looked a little frail. How could we begrudge her a bit of beauty? The other reason’s because dad had planted it outside our fence and so, technically it was on public property.
It became a routine; the daisy would always disappear a couple of days after it bloomed. Then one day the entire plant disappeared. That was the last of our fine-petalled scarlet African daisy. That was about two years ago.
But I miss that plant. I checked the arachis pintoi patch again today hoping to see something, but there was nothing. And I’ve yet to find a replacement.
I rarely see the old fashioned African daisy with its fine petals at garden centres now. Yet, I had grown up with it. I must have been about nine when we had a long row of these daisies in the garden.
There was one thing I learnt about this daisy back then; it’s almost impossible to pull them out with the roots intact. I know, because I have tried many times only to find that the plant had come clean away from its roots.
Today I have a pink and a white African daisy in the garden, and I think a peach coloured one too. I’m hoping, just hoping, that the same scarlet daisy will show itself again.
If it does, you can bet your last dollar that I’ll be planting it within the confines our garden fence.
Care and propagation: Full sun; well drained soil; water moderately. Propagate by division.