My first sighting of an African daisy was on the concrete deck outside of the Lezha Academic Center, Lezhë , Albania. The above photo was taken in March 2014. The unique combination of white petals with a bright blue center ringed in orange is awesome to me.
As mentioned by several sources, these blooms are composite flowers with the outer ring being ray florets with one petal on the outside. The center is composed of unopened disk florets surrounded by a ring of opened disk florets. One site with straightforward details about the parts of a Zinnia flower head is a blog for children by Roberta Gibson (2015). While they originated in South Africa and the Arabian peninsula as perennials, these flowers are now available as annual seeds of many colors in the US and other places (e.g. Park Seed).
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Photos ©2013-17 by Richard L. Bowman