Gazania is a genus of about 20 species in the family Asteraceae, native to southern Africa.
Gardeners love them for their large, unique patterned, daisy-like flowers in a wide variety of colors. The blooms, as with all the members of the daisy family, are actually flower heads composed of disk florets at the centre. These plants are considered annuals in the cool climates, but in warmer climates they are short-lived perennials. They are vibrant, drought tolerant and easy to maintain. It is always such a delight when they pop into bloom!
The genus was named after the Greek humanist Theodorus Gaza, who was an influential Greek scholar of the 15th century.
Gazania represents wealth and richness.
Interesting facts about Gazania:
Do They Sleep at Night?
Gazania flowers are light-sensitive. They close up at night and on particularly cloudy days. It is a behavior called nyctinasty.
Although the reason for this behavior isn’t fully understood, some scientists believe that this behavior prevents pollen from becoming wet and heavy with dew. Charles Darwin, well known for his theory of evolution, thought that plants close up at night to protect themselves from freezing. Closing at night may also protect the pollen from unwanted pests. These plants aren’t sleepy, they are just highly evolved.
Is Gazania Poisonous?
The plant is not considered toxic, but if eaten may cause discomfort. Since pets frequently chew on new plants introduced to the home, it is recommended to keep it out of the reach of your pets.
Is Gazania Invasive?
Gazania can become invasive in some areas.
The plant was originally brought to Australia as an ornamental plant. Because of its invasive nature, it soon spread across the continent.
Some varieties, such as Gazania rigens and Gazania linearis, are considered very invasive in some countries. Gazania Linearis is classified as invasive in California.
Benefits and Uses
The plant is sometimes used in folk medicine to treat pneumonia, sore eyes, headache, earache and sterility.
The flowers come in shades of yellow, orange, pink, red and white. The colors of the petals are bright and unique.
Spring, Autumn, Winter
The plant grows up to 30 cm (1 ft) high.
Gazania will grow best in well-drained soil in full sun, with a pH level between 5.5 and 7.0.