Gazania rigens: Treasure flower

Family: Asteraceae
Common name: Treasure flower, Gazania, African daisy

Gazania is one of the most beautiful flowers in the Asteraceae family, liked by gardeners and landscape architects around the world. These lovely little plants only grow to a height of about 50 cm with dull blue-grey or green leaves growing in thick clusters.

The leaves grow from very close to the root with no branched stems, and have entire margins and a slightly pointed tip. The flowers stand high above the foliage in bright colors like pink, orange, red, white, purple, white, cream, yellow, and gold.

These lovely Gazania flowers have disk as well as ray florets, the bright petals of the ray florets making the plant bright and beautiful.

The flowers petals have dark red, brown, or black spots at their base giving the plants a very uniquely distinguishable feature, though there are a few variants without the spots at the base. Sometimes, these spots extend into the petals like stripes, and sometimes they are wider covering the entire base of the petals.

Gazania plants produce small fruits that contain egg-shaped, brown seeds that are covered on one end with dense white hairs that help in propagation.

These plants are very hardy thriving well in the sun, forming big clumps that grow slowly forming smaller plants around the parent plant, flowering profusely in the sun. Gazania plants need well-drained soil and are reasonably tolerant of drought.

Over-watering is a big no-no and will result in wilting and rotting of the plants. These plants require bright, direct sunlight to bloom and do not bloom on rainy, cloudy, or overcast days.

Occasional fertilization and dead-heading will help the plants to flower well, covering large areas of the garden with bright, flamboyant flowers. They can be grown in gardens as border plants, or in shallow pots and hanging baskets.

The prolific blooming and bright colors attract butterflies to the garden, helping in pollination of other plants as well. In order to prevent the plants from becoming lanky and lifeless after sometime, it’s good to uproot old plants, and replant the young suckers that grow around the parent plants.

Propagation is from seeds and suckers.