16 Sep

Gazania, evergreen trailing perennial, 6-10 in., golden-orange to pink or burgundy flowers bloom all year, sun, drought tolerant.

Native to South Africa. Low, clumping or spreading plants grown for colorful daisies over long bloom season. Tolerate seacoast conditions. Grow well in enriched or unamended soil, and with regular or only occasional irrigation.

Gazania hybrid

Low, clumping or spreading plants grown for colorful daisies over long bloom season. These evergreen perennials are grown as annuals in colder climates, or carried through winter from cuttings taken in fall, as for pelargoniums. Dazzling color display during peak bloom in late spring, early summer. In mild-winter climates, they continue to bloom intermittently through the rest of year. Grow in full sun. There are basically two types: clumping and trailing.

Clumping gazanias (complex hybrids between a number of species) form a mound of evergreen, typically lobed leaves that are dark green above with gray and woolly undersides. Flowering stems are 6 to 10 in. tall, bearing 3- to 4-in.-wide blossoms in colors including yellow, orange, white, and rosy pink; undersides of rays are reddish purple. Blossoms often have dark centers. You can also get a mixture of hybrids (as plants or seeds) in different colors. Flowers open on sunny days and close at night and in cloudy weather.

Use clumping gazanias in parking strips, as edging along sunny paths, in rock gardens. Good temporary fillers between young shrubs or as replaceable ground cover for relatively level areas not subject to severe erosion.

Trailing gazanias are derived from Gazania rigens leucolaena, formerly sold as Gazania uniflora or Gazania leucolaena. They grow about as tall as clumping types but spread rapidly by long, trailing stems. Foliage is a clean silvery gray; flowers are yellow, white, orange, or bronze. These newer hybrids are superior to older kinds in length of bloom, resistance to dieback.

Trailing gazanias are useful on banks as well as level ground. Or grow them at the top of a wall and let them drape over the edge. Attractive in hanging baskets.

Gazania krebsiana

Grows about 6 in. high and 1 ft. wide, with deeply divided leaves that are dark green on top and silvery white beneath; foliage takes on purple hues in cold weather. Rich reddish orange flowers 2 1/2 to 3 in. across have a central disk of orange or dark yellow; base of each petal is green and black, with a single white spot. Long bloom season, from spring to fall. May reseed a bit.


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