Native to South Africa. The daisy flowers put on a dazzling display of color during peak bloom in late spring and early summer and they continue to bloom inter- mittently throughout the year. Gazanias grow well in almost any well-drained soil. Feed once in spring with slow-acting fertilizer. Divide plants every 3 to 4 years.
- The two basic types are clumping and trailing; both take full sun.
- Clumping gazanias (complex hybrids involving a number of species) form a mound of evergreen leavesdark green above, gray and woolly beneath, often lobed.
- Flowers are 34 inches wide, on 6- to 10 inches-long stems; they open on sunny days, close at night and in cloudy weather.
- Available in single colors or in a mixture (as plants or seeds) in different hues.
- Available colors include yellow, orange, white, or rosy pink, with reddish purple petal undersides and (often) dark blossom centers.
Seed grown kinds include 'Carnival', with silver leaves and flowers in many colors; 'Chansonette', an early bloomer with round, medium-size blossoms on compact plants; and 'Daybreak', with low-growing, spreading plants bearing flowers in orange, bronze, yellow, yellow striped with red, and mixed colors. 'Harlequin' has eyed and banded blooms in many colors. 'Mini-Star' is compact and floriferous. 'New Day' has large blooms in the full color range; shorter flower stems give plants a compact, beefy look. 'Sunbather' is compact and heat tolerant, with large (nearly 6 inches-wide) flowers in golden orange, yellow, bronzy orange, and creamy white; blooms are semidouble, so they don't close completely, regardless of light levels. 'Sundance' produces especially large (to 5 inches-wide) striped and banded flowers; 'Sun- shine Giants' produce big, multicolored flowers and gray leaves.
Selections of special merit are 'Aztec' (cream with maroon stripes), 'Aztec Queen' (multicolored), 'Burgundy', 'Christopher Lloyd' (bright pink with a yellow eye encircled by green), 'Copper King', and 'Fiesta Red'. All are best used in small-scale plantings, though the last is sturdy enough for large areas. 'Moonglow' is a double-flowered bright yellow of unusual vigor; its blossoms, unlike most, stay open even on overcast, dull days. 'Tiger Eye' has golden-orange blooms and green leaves edged with cream.
Trailing gazanias (derived from Gazania rigens leucolaena) grow about as tall as clumping ones but spread rapidly by long, trailing stems. Foliage is a handsome silvery gray; flowers are yellow, white, orange, or bronze. Larger-flowered kinds are 'Sunburst' (orange with black eye) and 'Sunglow' (yellow). 'Sunrise Yellow', also in larger-flowered group, has black-eyed yellow blooms; leaves are green. Hybrid trailing plants are superior to older kinds in length of bloom and resistance to dieback. Use trailing gazanias on banks; or grow them at the top of a wall and allow them to trail over. Attractive in hanging baskets.