Gazania: Characteristics, Habitat, Reproduction, Cultivation, Care

Gazania is a genus of ornamental plants that belong to the Asteraceae family. The main species include Gazania bracteata , Gazania nivea , Gazania pavonia , Gazania pinnata , Gazania ringens and Gazania uniflora , native to southern Africa.

They constitute a group of herbaceous plants of low and creeping habit that reach 20-50 cm in height, with lanceolate and pubescent green leaves. The single-petalled flowers are orange or yellow with a small dark-colored circle at the base.

Gazania. Source: pizabay.com

In tropical environments they are perennial plants, but in temperate climates they die during winter and sprout in spring, which is why they are considered annuals. It is grown in full sun exposure and grows on any type of soil, preferably light, deep and rich in organic matter.

They are rustic plants that only require a cool climate and permeable soil to thrive. They are often cultivated to restore arid soils due to their ability to withstand drought.

Article index

  • one

    General characteristics

    • 1.1

      Appearance

    • 1.2

      Leaves

    • 1.3

      flowers

    • 1.4

      Fruit

  • two

    Taxonomy

    • 2.1

      Species

    • 2.2

      Etymology

    • 23

      Varieties

  • 3

    Habitat and distribution

  • 4

    Reproduction

    • 4.1

      Propagation by seeds

    • 4.2

      Reproduction by cuttings

    • 4.3

      Reproduction by division of clumps

  • 5

    Culture

    • 5.1

      I usually

    • 5.2

      Fertilization

    • 5.3

      Solar radiation

    • 5.4

      Location  

  • 6

    Care

  • 7

    Plagues and diseases

    • 7.1

      Pests

    • 7.2

      Diseases

  • 8

    References

General characteristics

Appearance

Herbaceous plant with semi-erect or creeping growth that reaches 20-50 cm in height, it grows on the surface of the ground, forming a kind of carpet. Due to its creeping characteristics, it is considered a cover plant, being ideal for covering large areas, borders, beds, beds or rocky areas.

Leaves

The entire, simple leaves are oval or deeply lobed, most of which are dense hairs on both sides. Depending on the species, they are dark green on the upper surface and whitish or silver on the underside.

flowers

Gazania Creamsicles. Source: pixabay.com

Each flower is an inflorescence made up of tiny flowers arranged in a circular structure where female, male and hermaphrodite flowers are distributed. The male and hermaphrodite ones are arranged in the center of the inflorescence, while the female ones are ligulate in the contour, forming the false petals.

The ligules or false petals are arranged around the base, they usually have dots or spots that contrast with their bright colors. They usually have more than two colors, yellow, orange or bronze being frequent, some species present combinations of purple and white.

Flowering occurs throughout the year, from the beginning of spring and during summer, being less during autumn and winter. In fact, due to their abundant and long-lasting flowering, they are ideal plants to grow in pots and planters.

Fruit

The dried, indehiscent fruit is a particular achene known as cysela. The cipsela is a light structure provided with long hairs or bristles that facilitate its dispersion through the wind.

Taxonomy

– Kingdom: Plantae

– Division: Magnoliophyta

– Class: Magnoliopsida

– Order: Asterales

– Family: Asteraceae

– Subfamily: Cichorioideae

– Tribe: Arctotideae

– Subtribe: Gorteriinae

– Genre: Gazania Gaertn.

Species

La Gazania Kiss Bronze Star. Source: pixabay.com

Gazania caespitosa Bolus

Gazania ciliaris DC.

G. heterochaeta DC.

G. jurineifolia DC.

Gazania krebsiana Less.

Gazania leiopoda (DC.) Roessler

Gazania lichtensteinii Less.

Gazania linearis (Thunb.) Druce

Gazania maritima Levyns

Gazania othonnites (Thunb.) Less.

Gazania pectinata (Thunb.) Spreng.

Gazania rigens (L.) Gaertn.

Gazania rigida (Burm.f.) Roessler

Gazania schenckii O. Hoffm.

Gazania schenkii O. Hoffm. ex Schinz

Gazania serrata DC.

Gazania speciosa (Willd.) Less.

Gazania tenuifolia Less.

Gazania thermalis Dinter

Etymology

Gazania : the name of the genus, being given in honor of Theodore Gaza (1398-1475), Greek humanist, translator of the works of Aristotle and Theophrastus.

Varieties

Gazania Daybreak Series. Source: pixabay.com

– Chansonette: short season plants whose early flowering shows bright yellow, orange and purple colors.

– Creamsicles: flowers with light cream or ivory petals with a simple central disc of bronze color.

– Kiss Bronze Star: flowers with bicolor petals between yellow, orange and gold

– Talent mix: They are characterized by silvery foliage in contrast to brightly colored flowers.

– Daybreak series: large flowering plants with broad parallel stripes along the petals.

– Sunbather’s Sunset: The petals of a strong orange or paprika color remain expanded even after sunset.

– Sundrop: the oblique petals and the central disk of the flowers are monochromatic in color gold or bright yellow.

– Tiger Stripe Mix: the coloring of the petals is characterized by broad stripes of red or pink tones on a light or gold background.

Habitat and distribution

Gazania Sunbather’s Sunset. Source: pizabay.com

Most of the species of the genus Gazania are native to tropical Africa and South Africa, which have adapted to various edaphoclimatic conditions. On a commercial level, pure species are scarce, being the most frequent hybrids of the Gazania x splendens type .

They are plants that adapt to any type of soil as long as they are loose and well drained. In fact, it is a drought-resistant plant, which only in summer requires frequent watering.

Sowing is done by seeds throughout the year and requires an average temperature of 18-20 ºC to germinate after 7-14 days. Transplantation to the field is carried out during the cool season, when the plant has reached an adequate size.

In general, gazania have a life cycle of 4-5 years, being convenient to renew the crop through cuttings during the fall. They are very resistant plants that are grown in full sun exposure, giving their flowers a lot of beauty.

Reproduction

Gazania Sundrop. Source: pixabay.com

Gazania reproduces indistinctly by seeds, creeping stem cuttings, or plant division. Once pollination of the flowers occurs, the seeds develop within a densely hairy structure known as vilano.

The vilano or papus is the group of simple hairs or bristles that facilitate the dispersal of the seeds through the wind. In fact, the seeds have little viability, so it is recommended to collect directly from the plant and quickly sow in seedlings.

The availability of seeds throughout the year makes it possible for its propagation to be established at any time of the year. The seeds germinate after 7-10 days in warm or temperate climates and transplantation to the field is carried out after the last frosts.

Propagation by seeds

The seeds are spread on a mixture of peat and compost in seedbeds, seedlings or pots, and covered with a thin layer of the same substrate. During the germination process it is advisable to water regularly by spraying or immersion, as well as covering with a plastic to prevent them from drying out.

When the seedlings reach a height of 4-6 cm and 2-3 true leaves can be transplanted to the definitive site. 1-2 plants are sown in pots, in the final terrain a distance of 30-40 cm is recommended to facilitate their growth and development.

Reproduction by cuttings

The creeping stems of the gazania can be multiplied by short cuttings that have 2-3 buds or vegetative shoots. The best way to renew gazania crops every 4-5 years is by propagating cuttings that are collected during the fall.

Reproduction by division of clumps

When the plants are large, they form a solid tillering. This clump can be pulled out and divided into several plants with leaves and roots, then transplanted into pots or into the ground.

Culture

I usually

Gazania requires light and sandy soils, preferably with good drainage, since waterlogging tends to favor the development of fungal diseases. It is a crop that tolerates drought, but during the summer the waterings must be frequent. Meanwhile, in autumn and winter they should be sporadic.

Fertilization

Although it adapts to sandy and poor soils, the application of organic fertilizers or chemical fertilizers favors flowering. Organic compost is applied at the end of winter and chemical fertilizer should be applied sparingly so as not to burn the roots.

Solar radiation

It is a crop that requires full sun exposure. In fact, it needs high solar radiation to bloom and open the petals. It resists cold temperatures down to -5 ºC, although it is susceptible to frost.

Location  

Its cultivation is usually carried out in pots, planters or closed spaces, since it is a plant that is easy to propagate. In certain places where it has been introduced as an exotic plant, it has managed to displace native species, being considered an invasive plant.

Care

Gazania Tiger Stripe Mix. Source: pixabay.com

Gazania is a rustic plant that does not require special care to develop effectively. It only requires a cool climate, deep, permeable and fertile soil, in addition to being in full sun exposure.

Generally, gazania flowers unfold their petals with the first rays of the sun during the morning and close in the afternoon hours. This is one of the main reasons for locating plants in places where solar radiation directly affects.

To promote flowering, maintenance and sanitation pruning should be carried out, removing dry leaves and wilted flowers. If you want to maintain the crop throughout the year, it is necessary to protect the plants during the winter.

Due to its great flowering power, it is necessary to apply organic fertilizers frequently, preferably during spring and summer. The availability of irrigation should be made depending on the climatic conditions, the type of soil and the requirements of the crop.

This type of ornamental plant is suitable for covering beds or borders in parks and gardens, as well as on flowerpots and planters on terraces. The main commercial hybrids of gazania are very decorative creeping plants if planted on rocky areas.

Plagues and diseases

Pests

The main pests that attack the plants of the genus Gazania are mealybugs, whiteflies and aphids, as well as thrips and leaf miners.

Diseases

Among the main fungi that affect this crop are powdery mildew and mildew, the symptoms of which are white or grayish spots on the leaves. The Rhizoctonia  and  Pythium  are the causative agents of diseases that cause root rot, later the plant wither and die.

References

  1. Cantoral Calvo, LD (2014). Production of Gazanias (Gazania x hybrida, Gazania splendens) flowers in a floating root hydroponic system. (Degree Thesis) “Antonio Navarro” Autonomous Agrarian University. Engineering Division. Coahuila, Mexico. 54 pp.
  2. Gazania. (2019). Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Recovered at: es.wikipedia.org
  3. Gazania (2018) The Garden at Home. Recovered in: eljardinencasa.com
  4. Gazania – Gazania x hybrida, Gazania splendens (2019) Lanzarote Golf Resort. Recovered at: lanzarotegolfresort.com
  5. Laguna Lumbreras, E. & Ferrer Gallego, PP (2013). Gazania Gaertn. (Asteraceae): taxa escaped from cultivation in the Valencian Community (Spain). Bouteloua, (13), 3-10.
  6. Martínez M., Federico. (2018) Guide for the Cultivation of Gazania. Tetela seedlings.
  7. Scaramuzzino, RL (2019) Gazania rigens (L.) Gaert. (Asteraceae) in Coastal Dunes of the Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Natural History, Third Series, Volume 9 (1), pp 115-120.

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