When the football fans shortly check out and move indoors to watch the battle for the World Cup in South Africa, those who prefer the delights of the garden can take satisfaction in the thought that Danish gardeners already hold the European record in the production of Osteospermum
Osteospermum or African Daisy, originally a native of southern Africa (hence the name), is one of the newer seedlings in the repertoire, but in the short time it has been here, it has won great popularity among consumers.
Three leading plant varieties
Denmark is the unofficial European champion in the production of new varieties, and in the genus of Osteospermum, there are three world-class Danish varieties, namely Sunny ApS, Dalina ApS and Sakata Ornamentals, which ensure that growers have the best material from which to produce plants.
New talents on the pitch
Like any coach, the producer must get the team to play together or, in this case, get the range to satisfy the demand from consumers, while remaining constantly on the look-out for new talent.
Jakob Christensen, owner of the Fashion Flowers nursery near Odense, says:
"We have been producing Osteospermum of the Cape Daisy variety for about six years, and we are constantly renewing our range of new colours, as the consumers demand. This year, for example, there is greater focus on the 'burnt' colours. My own favourite is Kalanga Lavander, which has a lovely deep lavender blue shade."
Another Odense nursery, Gartneriet 3kanten, has been producing the Osteospermum variety Sunny for more than 20 years. Keld Stig Andersen, co-owner of the nursery, also has a past as a seller on the German market, and has therefore two favourites among the new nursery products for the 2010 season:
"I am crazy about Atilla, which famously appeals to the Scandinavian taste with its beautiful delicate pink flowers that fade into purple in the middle. But I also think Aïsha, which has an orange-golden glow that typically appeals to the German consumers, is a really nice feature in garden pots."
According to nursery owner Nicolai Abildgaard of Danish Evergreen in Marslev, Odense, pink, purple and white are also the preferred colours in Northern Europe. But he is becoming increasingly fascinated by plants at the golden-warm end of the spectrum. The nursery has been producing Osteospermum of the Dalina variety for ten years.
"Osteospermum is a fine seedling plant, and with time I have become more and more interested in the new, golden varieties, which break the pattern and produce a lovely play of colour. Tosca is clearly a hit in this company."
More than 100 different colours
So while the Danish football lads line up in their red and white colours, plant lovers can savour a colour palette of more 100 different shades in the African Daisy team.
Denmark is the world's second-largest exporter of potted plants. Each year, Denmark produces around 400 million potted plants, of which 80% are exported.
In 2009, 8 million Osteospermum were produced, making the plant the eighth-largest culture.
Source: Floradania Marketing Production Review