What’s flowering – Osteospermum moniliferum

The bietou (previously known as Chrysanthemoides monilifera) is a large, fast growing rounded shrub with oval to elliptic toothed leaves. The plant is sparsely woolly on its young parts and bears small clusters of yellow radiate flowerheads. The black, fleshy fruits are much loved by birds and this species provides a great option for a fast-growing species in coastal gardens.

Osteospermum moniliferum on www.fynboshub.co.za

 The bietou is easily grown and makes an attractive garden asset and especially useful pioneer shrub for the new garden. It is a fast grower, requires a sunny, well-drained position and sufficient space. The shrub is very striking during winter, when the bright dense yellow flowers appear. It is naturally a pioneer species that has a limited lifespan (approximately 10 years) but can be effectively used as a mother bush for protecting slower growing tree species in windy areas.

The bietou fruit was formerly used by the Khoi and San as a food source and to make a tonic for men. Ash from the leaves and stems was used in the making of soap. It occurs naturaly on sandstone and dune slopes and flats from Namaqualand to tropical Africa and has become a serious invasive in Australia and New Zealand.

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