Barberton Daisy – A popular South African plant

Barberton Daisy

This beautiful plant calls the bushveld its natural home. In particular the bushveld regions of Mpumalanga and Gauteng. From there the Barberton Daisy has spread to gardens around the country and the world. It also can be found in grassland in some areas.

Their claim to fame is their beautiful reddish flowers that are 6 cm across and appear during spring and summer. The leaves are large and grow from the ground upwards. The leaves have deep lobes. In their natural habitat they may sometimes be found in some shade, but they prefer full sun.

Is the Barberton Daisy suitable for my garden?

Barberton Daisies are perennial plants and are evergreen so they will always add something to your garden. They are fast growing, reaching a height of around 30 cm, and are frost tolerant so they can be included in a wide variety of gardens. They are well suited to rockeries. Over time they will form clumps which can be separated if you like. Remove dead flowers and water them regularly but be careful to not overwater them. Barberton Daisies fare better in a well-drained location.

Barberton Daisies have been cultivated into a number of colours, but I still prefer the natural reddish flower. The flowers are borne on long stalks, so they make ideal cut flowers. The nectar of the flowers attracts various insects, including butterflies.

Logos, flags and coats of arms

For many years the Barberton Daisy was the emblem of the Northern Transvaal rugby team. In 1997 the team was rebranded as the Blue Bulls and the logo was replaced. The flower is still incorporated into the coat of arms and flag of Mpumalanga province.

The scientific name of the Barberton Daisy is Gerbera jamesonii. It got its specific name from the botanist Robert Jameson that originally described this species, from the Barberton region, in 1889.

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