African Daisy Flower Meaning

We often use the expression ‘fresh as a daisy’ to describe someone who is looking fresh and vibrant. Why?

Well, because daisies have sunny faces that make our hearts skip a beat. There’s no denying that these blossoms are cheerful, bright, and full of life and joy. One look at a daisy, and you immediately conjure up images of springtime and warm weather.

While we have no qualms talking about daisies all day long, there are just too many of them to tackle in one article. Daisies belong to the Asteraceae family, which is also the sunflower family. It consists of more than 1500 genera and over 23,000 species, making it the largest family of flowering plants.

So, today, we’ll be exploring the meaning of the African daisy flower.

African Daisy Flower: A Brief History

The botanical name of the African daisy is Osteospermum. It comes from the Latin osteon meaning ‘bone,’ and spermum, which means ‘seed.’ It refers to the way the seeds have a bone-like consistency.

It also goes by several other names like South African daisy, sunscape daisy, blue-eyed daisy, and Cape marigold.

As the name suggests, it’s native to South Africa. During the 19th century, it was brought to the West by European settlers where it became an instant hit.

African daisies are known to be hardy and easy to please. As a result, they quickly adapted to their new environment and managed to acclimate to the soil and water conditions.

Another feature that makes the African daisy flower so unique is that the petals remain open only when the sun is shining. Then when the sun sets, or it’s a particularly cloudy day, the petals close up to protect themselves and the center of the flower, commonly referred to as the ‘floral disc’ or ‘flower head.’

Another fascinating characteristic is that while African daisies are perennial plants, they’re actually grown as annuals. One explanation for this is that the blooms have the ability to last for a long time during their growing season as long as the weather is nice and favorable, which allows the flowers to continue to come back each year.

Then, you have the petals with their anything-but-ordinary appearance. The tips of the African daisy flower petals can be spoon-shaped, fringed, or even double.

Thanks to these distinct features and their general cheery and warm appearance, daisies have become one of the best-known and most popular flowers in the world. How can we tell?

These blooms can be found in abundance on every continent around the globe except, of course, Antarctica.

African Daisy Flower

African Daisy Flower: Meanings and Symbols

Daisies got their name from the Old English ‘day’s eyes’ because these cheerful blooms typically open during the day and close at night. While the name has stuck, the meaning of this flower has evolved over the years.

The most common symbol of daisies is innocence and new beginnings. It’s why you often see them in floral arrangements given as gifts for new mothers. They’re also used as a reminder to look to the future with optimism and anticipation.

So, what does the African daisy flower in particular mean? Take a look.

Mythology and Folklore

One of the earliest meanings of the daisy originated with the ancient Celtics. They believed that when a child or infant passes away in childbirth, the gods would adorn their graves with daisies. It was regarded as a way of consoling all those grieving the loss of the child.

On the other hand, Norse mythology had a more positive association with daisies and childbirth. The cheerful blooms are believed to represent the Norse goddess Freya, goddess of love, beauty, and fertility.

As such, African daisies have come to symbolize motherhood. That’s why they’re often gifted to new mothers in celebration of their newborns. They can also be given to expecting mothers as a sign of good things yet to come.

As for the Greeks, they referred to the daisy flower because of its ability to bring good luck and prosperity. Sometimes, they even burned the leaves of the daisy plant to ward off evil spirits and cleanse the air.

Also Check: African Violet Flower Meaning

Victorian England

During the Victorian era, people tried to be as demure and socially correct as possible. So, whenever they wanted to send unconventional messages, they’d use flowers instead, which is how the Victorian Flower Language, or floriography, came to be.

Through floriography, each flower was assigned a specific meaning, which people used to communicate with one another without being overt or improper.

It was also used to convey one’s ability to keep a secret. So, if you gave someone a bouquet with a daisy, this translated to ‘I’ll never tell.’

Daisies were recognized as the official symbol of eternal love and fidelity, as they still are to this day in Japanese and Chinese cultures.

Art and Literature

If you spot a daisy in Renaissance art, that is usually a representation of the birth of Christ or baby Jesus.

Daisies were also used to symbolize the modesty and purity of his soul. They became the embodiment of virtue, hope, and new beginnings.

Daisies also make beautiful tattoos, which are also considered a form of art. It’s believed that they can have a positive impact on whoever gets the tattoo and on the people who are in their presence.

They can also bring positive energy, enthusiasm, and elation.

In addition, the name Daisy is abundant in many works of literature, including literary greats like Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Henry James, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. It’s used to express cheer and optimism.

Writers often give their heroines this flower name. It was a way to depict the character’s upbeat, confident, and idealistic nature.

Escape daisies

Spirituality and Religion

Daisies are a symbol of faith and spirituality. They’re also used to represent eternal life, which is why these blooms are closely linked with the idea of reincarnation.

Also, they embody the ability to forgive and be forgiven for past wrongdoings. Thus, they symbolize virtue, honor, and fresh beginnings.

In Christianity, daisies are often associated with the Virgin Mary. They represent motherhood, chastity, pureness, and humility.

April Birth Flowers

African daisy blooms are so fitting to be the birth flower for April. They’re commonly used to represent simplicity, joy, and childhood innocence.

It’s often said that those born in April are positive, cheerful, and trustworthy.

Because they start to bloom in early spring after the cold winters, these bright and colorful blooms are the perfect symbol of hope, renewal, and new beginnings.

Giving someone a bouquet of daisies represents respect, bliss, and positive energy.

Also, because of the uniqueness of the African daisy, it can be a way to show admiration and flattery.


African daisies come in a multitude of vibrant colors, such as white, pink, coral, purple, yellow, and orange.

Take a look at these common subspecies of the African daisy and what their colors represent:

Related: 3 Petal Lotus Meaning

Cape Marguerite (Osteopermum ecklonis)

Also called Sunday’s river daisy, this is the most common. It typically blooms purple or white flowers in May up until late November.

Purple daisies usually represent pride and royalty. They can also mean that you’re thinking of someone special. They can also symbolize that you’re having fun, or being lighthearted and spontaneous.

If you’re thinking of sending someone an apology or fixing a misunderstanding of sorts, then purple African daisies will do the trick.

Cape Marigold (Dimorphotheca pluvialis)

This distinct-looking subspecies blooms between July and August. It’s best known for growing numerous bright and showy white flowers. It’s often referred to as the weather prophet or rain daisy and has several hybrids and varieties.

Like almost all types of white blooms, white African daisies are a symbol of purity and innocence.

Glandular Cape Marigold (Dimorphotheca sinuata)

This is similar to the subspecies mentioned above with one difference: it produces bigger and wider flowers. The plant itself is also larger and has more branches.

The most common variety is ‘Tetra Goliath.’ It’s best known for its bright and radiant orange blooms that appear from June to September.

As you can guess, orange daisies are known for their bursts of energy and vibrancy. They symbolize happiness, warmth, joy, and excitement.

Tropic Sun (Osteospermum ecklonis)

Osteospermum ecklonis

With its oversized bright yellow flowers, this African daisy subspecies is breathtaking. Like their heliotropic cousins, the sunflowers, these daisies can turn towards the east in the morning to face the rising sun. Then, it continues to turn westward as the sun moves across the sky, hence the name.

These yellow daisies represent cheer, joy, and friendship. They’re often added to ‘get well soon’ flower bouquets because of their ability to express good health and happy wishes.

Final Thoughts

According to the study of the language of flowers, the most common meaning of the African daisy flower is innocence, virtue, and purity. Yet, we also managed to uncover numerous other interesting symbols and meanings for these bright and cheerful blooms.

From fun and bright cheer to hope and new beginnings, there’s so much meaning in these radiant flowers. On top of that, they come in a beautiful array of colors that are sure to take your breath away!