Magazine article Sunset

Gerbera, Queen of the Daisies

Magazine article Sunset

Gerbera, Queen of the Daisies

Article excerpt

Of all the native plants of South Africa that have won a place in Western gardens, the Transvaal daisy, or gerbera, is perhaps the most irresistible. This month, as pots of gerberas appear in nurseries around the West, you'll probably be tempted to take home a few of these most regal of daisies. Their big, vibrant blooms are standouts in containers or beds, and their lasting quality in a vase makes them favorite cut flowers.

Thanks to breeders, gerberas are bearing more and consistently larger flowers than ever before, and in a wider range of colors. Pictured clockwise from left are `Festival Yellow', `Mardi Gras Salmon Shades', `Festival Golden Yellow', `Masquerade Red', `Masquerade White', and `Festival Rose'. Most have 3- to 4-inch blooms, and some, like the Festival series, come in more than a dozen colors. The flowers have either light or dark centers (called "eyes" by breeders), regardless of flower color. Dark eyes, like the ones in the Masquerade series, are currently rising in popularity. …

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