Gazania rigens
Common Name: treasure flower
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Native Range: Southern Africa
Zone: 9 to 11
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Orange rays with black eyes at bases and orange-brown disks
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Tolerate: Drought

Culture

Grow in sandy to average, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates some soil dryness, but prefers consistent moisture. Do not overwater, however. Deadhead spent flowers to encourage additional bloom. Winter hardy to USDA Zones 9-11. Grow as annuals in St. Louis, either in the ground or in containers. Prefers cool summer climates, and flowering may slow down considerably in hot and humid St. Louis summers. If growing from seed, start plants indoors in late winter (6-8 weeks before last frost date) and set plants outside after last frost date. Take basal offsets from favorite plants in late summer to early fall for rooting and subsequent overwintering indoors in pots. Container plants may also be brought inside for winter.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Native to South Africa, gazania or treasure flower is a popular African daisy that is similar in appearance to the genus Arctotis. G. rigens is a parent in many of the gazanias sold in commerce today. It is a tender perennial that features decumbent stems that spread along the ground. Narrow but variably-shaped, dandelion-like leaves (narrow spoon-shaped to lobed) are silvery green. Flowering stems typically rise 6-10” tall topped by solitary, daisy-like ray flowers (to 3-4” wide) with contrasting center disks. Ray flowers of this species are orange with black eyes at the bases and with orange-brown disks. Hybrid cultivars (often listed as cultivars of this species) come in a great variety of additional colors including shades of yellow, orange, bronze or white often with contrasting color at the bases forming a ring around the center disk. Can bloom summer to fall, often to first frost. Flowers close at night and may only partially open up on cloudy days. Genus honors Theodore de Gaza, 15th century Greek Scholar.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Overly moist soils can lead to root and stem rot. Watch for leaf spot and powdery mildew. Mealybugs are occasional visitors.

Garden Uses

Mass in beds and borders. Containers. With its trailing stems, this species is particularly useful in hanging baskets.