Weather prophet is a member of the Dimorphotheca family. Its botanical name is Dimorphotheca pluvialis.
Dimorphotheca pluvialis is always one of the first spring annuals to flower at Kirstenbosch. Flowering in masses the glistening white daisies look like snow covering the ground of the large annual beds, small pockets along the footpaths and rockeries. For the best display it is important to visit the garden on a sunny day as these sun loving daisies only open with the warmth of the sun from about 10 o’clock in morning to 4 o’clock in the afternoon. As the sun moves across the sky their flowers follow, always facing the sun.
Dimorphotheca pluvialis is an annual endemic to Namibia, Namaqualand and the south western Cape of South Africa. During spring huge fields are covered with this bright white daisy, forming a dazzling mass. In their natural habitat the 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.A type of flower, it mainly grows as an annual plant - which means it typically only grows best for a single growing season. This plant tends to bloom in early spring.
South Africa is believed to be where Weather prophet originates from.
Weather prophet is normally quite a low maintenance plant and is normally very easy to grow - great for beginner gardeners!
This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Weather prophet have been kindly provided by our members.
Many beautiful and interesting displays can be made by mixing the different annuals like the blue flax (Heliophila coronopifolia) which grows tall and thin, Felicia heterophylla a striking blue daisy and the brightly coloured Bokbaai vygies, Dorotheanthus bellidiformis. Bulbs like the arum lilies ( Zantedeschia aethiopica) and watsonias grown in clumps work very well mixed with the annuals. At Kirstenbosch we collect all our own seed from the garden to be sown again the next year. If the seed is not collected Dimorphotheca pluvialis usually seeds it self the next year. Dimorphothecea pluvialis has no major pests at Kirstenbosch other than the guineafowl, which love to eat the soft new growth.Weather prophet likes a position of full sun and remember to water moderately. Weather prophet is generally regarded as a half hardy plant, so although it can survive a small mild cold snap, it is wise to ensure that this plant is protected from frost damage.
See our list of companion Plants for Weather prophet to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.
This species grows easily form seed. The best time to sow is in autumn directly into the planting beds or first in seed trays or seedbeds from where the seedlings can be planted out. Scatter the seed on well-prepared soil with good drainage and in full sun. The seeds can be lightly covered with sand or fine milled bark. Germination is fast, usually within 4 days.Sow 0.2 inches (0.5 cm) deep with a guideline distance of 0.78 inches (2.0 cm).
Watering the young seedlings regularly is important, as the young plants require plenty.of water. The annuals respond very well to fertilizers but only apply fertilizers if the plants look stunted or deficient otherwise they grow to soft. The annuals transplant well and within 3 -4 weeks after germination they usually a good size to handle. When planting be generous with the annuals, as a very full and rich effect is gained by close planting.Weather prophet is half hardy, so ensure you wait until all danger of frost has passed in your area before considering planting outside.
These problems, diseases and pests are known to affect Weather prophet plants:
Ox-eye daisy, Rain daisy, Cape daisy, Witbotterblom
Misspellings: rain dasies